A short story of Asbestos. For more information use extended search.

The concept of asbestos comes from the Greek word, which means “unbreakable”. From old times, people have used it in their routine. For example, ancient Romans used asbestos for making burial clothes and wicks for lighting, while the Medieval Greeks used them for the creation of knight armor.

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Asbestos

But only at the end of the XIX century asbestos started to be mined for sale, which was widely reported. At that time, press started to inform on the use of asbestos during the ancient times. According to the article of “The Chester Daily Times” from September 26, 1879, “the guests were surprised to see such page enter, and, bowing, gave his royal master a tray, on which was sloppily folded a dirty white tablecloth. Charlemagne, who wasn’t surprised at all, threw it into a fire, obviously prepared in advance… A few minutes later, the king took it from the furnace, and it was completely intact.” They say that the tablecloth was made out of asbestos.  It is necessary to be careful and take security measures when working with asbestos. If you’ve got asbestos intoxication, in that pharmacy you can purchase a variety of drugs for the treatment and health improvement.

At the beginning of the XX century, asbestos was extensively used in domestic production. The landlords have the right to use asbestos to increase safety and enhance the appearance of their homes. In 1911, The Colorado Springs Gazette called asbestos “The source of safety and luxury”.

At the beginning of the 1970s, it became known that asbestos dust posed a grave danger to the health of workers exposed to this mineral at work. Three years earlier, Dr. Irving Selikoff, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, started to explore the health and death rate of asbestos insulation workers. He found out that the most of workers exposed to asbestos dust had the lung cancer and severe pulmonary diseases, which were then called “asbestosis”. In 1973, the Odessa American reported his made a statement to Senate subcommittee, where Selikoff reported that about five hundred of asbestos insulation workers suffered and died from lung cancer. He also claimed that 1/5 of asbestos insulation workers would die from lung cancer, while most of the others would suffer from asbestosis or other types of cancer.”

In the last two decades of the XX century asbestos was considered particularly dangerous (which was proven by various studies). People started to demand its removal from public spaces and stopped to use in their daily life. At the beginning of the 1990s, states started to develop legislation to help people filling lawsuits against the companies producing asbestos. So, the sale and production of asbestos was banned for 20-years.

At the beginning of 2005, the Ohio legislature approved a bill to set a limit on the above-mentioned lawsuits. “States start to create their own solutions…What else can we do?” told Ohio Representative Bill Setz in The Chronicle Telegram on January 14. The article also states that “ these lawsuits have drove more than 70 companies countrywide into bankruptcy…”

One month later, asbestos company W.R. Grace & Co, and seven of its former managers were accused of concealing the danger that its mine in Libby, Montana, posed to the workers and the citizens. There’s been a lawsuit filed against the company by the Environmental Protection Agency on charges that the company consciously exposed miners and citizens to asbestos, which lead to about 200 deaths and hundreds of diseases. According to the Attorney for Montana Bill Mercer (“The Intelligencer on February” from 2005) “It was a real tragedy for the residents of Libby. We strive to hold Grace and some of his people for the unlawful actions declared in this indictment…”

At the end of the 1980s, the EPA issued a final rule that prohibited most products containing asbestos. But this law was repealed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991 (however, certain products such as flooring felt, billboard, corrugated and commercial paper stayed banned. At the beginning of the XXI century, about 30 million tons of asbestos were imported for use in the American products. The court proceedings concerning asbestos is still going on.