Why was asbestos once so popular? 

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2023 | asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. The discovery of asbestos has been found all around the globe for many years. It became popularly used in the mid-19th century, during the Industrial Revolution, for cars, buildings, manufacturing, power companies and military use. One of the main purposes of asbestos was to protect workers and prevent fires because the mineral is flame-retardant. 

The commercial use of asbestos boomed. Homes were built with layers of asbestos to reduce house fires, including tiles, wallpaper, insulation and home appliances. Clothing was lined with asbestos to protect people from suffering burns. Children’s toys such as crayons and stuffed animals contained asbestos. People even had their cigarettes lined with asbestos. 

Today, asbestos isn’t used nearly as much. Here’s what you should know:

What put a stop to asbestos use?

It wasn’t until around the late 1970s that asbestos use was regulated. For years, studies were made on the dangers of asbestos exposure. It was discovered early on that asbestos exposure could lead to serious illnesses. But, it wouldn’t be for many years before the severity of the situation was taken seriously. 

The truth is that asbestos can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma. These diseases are caused by small asbestos fibers contaminating the air and being inhaled. Victims exposed to asbestos exposure would often find their lungs damaged by the asbestos fibers, which would later lead to their illnesses. 

Is asbestos still used today?

For years, people have sought to outright ban the use of asbestos. Although asbestos use has notably declined, the U.S. still has many new products containing asbestos. In other words, asbestos is not banned in the U.S. Furthermore, many older products and homes still contain asbestos. Many people are still exposed to asbestos, including people in occupations such as construction work, home remodeling and firefighters.