Asbestos containing products began to be widely used in a variety of trades and industries in the late 1800’s and continued thru the 1970’s and beyond. The wide incorporation of asbestos into industrial and commercial products has exposed millions of American workers and their families to a toxin proved to both scar the lungs and cause a variety of cancers including malignant mesothelioma. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that in every case exposure to asbestos is detrimental to human health.
Approximately 27.5 million workers were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1979. Jobsites where asbestos exposure was prevalent included shipyards, power plants, refineries and foundries where asbestos products such as pipe covering, insulating cements and refractory products as well as gaskets and packing were used in a wide range of industrial applications.
Asbestos was also widely used in the construction industry. Carpenters and laborers were exposed to asbestos containing joint compound materials as well as vinyl asbestos floor tile, asbestos containing shingles and siding, as well as other associated products such as mastics and other adhesives.
Finally, asbestos was heavily used in the automotive industry. Both career auto mechanics and do-it-yourself or shade tree mechanics were equally vulnerable to a host of asbestos containing products including brake linings, clutches and gasket materials.