|Brayton Purcell LLP||San Francisco||California|
|Lane & Lane, LLC||Chicago||Illinois|
|Handley Law Center, The||Oklahoma City||Oklahoma|
|Masters Law Firm, L.C., The||Charleston||West Virginia|
|Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers||Sydney||Australia|
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in hundreds of countries around the world. It became popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 19th century due to its resistance to heat, electricity and chemical damage. Asbestos has been used in industrial products such as brake linings, cement, flooring products, insulation and roof shingles.
As long as it’s intact, it is not harmful but when disturbed it can be easily inhaled. Once inhaled, asbestos fibers remain in the body and cannot be expelled. The fibers can then penetrate body tissues and may deposit themselves in airways and lung tissue. It can take 30 or more years to manifest health issues.
Asbestos exposure can lead to a health concern when high concentrations of asbestos fibers are inhaled over a long time period. A one-time, high-level incident of exposure, or a short period of exposure at lower levels is unlikely to result in damage.
Significant exposure to any type of asbestos will increase the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, including asbestosis, pleural plaques, pleural thickening, and pleural effusions.
The first lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers appeared in 1929. Since then, many lawsuits have been filed against asbestos manufacturers and employers, for neglecting to implement adequate safety measures.
Many industrialized nations have banned asbestos including the European Union and other countries, such as Chile, Croatia, Australia, Argentina, and Saudi Arabia. Asbestos is not and has never been banned in the United States.