There had been suspicions that asbestos might have dangers for centuries. However, the scientific proof that asbestos could cause cancers Mesothelioma became well established in the 1930s. That such a safe looking substance, mined from earth, was so dangerous was initially doubted by the asbestos manufactures themselves.
Asbestos companies were finally forced to abandon asbestos production and usage almost entirely.
In fact, the asbestos industry paid for studies in the 1930s and thereafter to prove that asbestos was safe. However, their scientists arrived at the exact opposite conclusion. Asbestos was dangerous. It caused cancers in laboratory animals – and was soon shown to do so in humans as well. This was, of course, very worrisome for the burgeoning asbestos industry, which was going gang-busters making pipe-fittings, gaskets, insulation, cements, and brake-linings – among many other products.
Instead of being forthright with its workers and public about the newfound dangers of asbestos in the 1930s, the industry hid evidence, purposely altered the conclusions of scientific studies, and generally did everything it could to keep workers (and the public) “in the dark” as to the mounting scientific evidence showing asbestos as anything but safe. The asbestos manufacturers embarked on a “disinformation campaign” to spread the false notion that asbestos was really safe. Further, the asbestos companies actively bought out makers of truly safer insulation materials – to continue asbestos as the only economical option for builders. A real conspiracy was underway to keep America’s workers and citizens unaware of any danger from asbestos – and force them to continue to use it when safer alternatives were available!
Ultimately, in the 1960s through 1980s, scientists from the U.S. Government and University Laboratories published studies proving the dangers of asbestos – risks that had grown over years through widespread use in homes and industry – despite the safer alternatives! Asbestos companies were finally forced, through both lawsuits and increasing Government regulation, to abandon asbestos production and usage almost entirely. However, decades of rampant usage had needlessly endangered several generations of Americans, with diseases like Mesothelioma Lung Cancer taking perhaps 20 to 50 years to manifest from (exposures long ago) to this very patient poison.
If you have any questions about mesothelioma or asbestos, give me a call and we can talk about it.
By: Mark DiCello