Asbestos is the generic name for six naturally occurring minerals. It is composed of silicon, oxygen, hydrogen, and several different metals. Throughout history, asbestos gained popularity for its flexibility, strength, and resistance to heat, flame and corrosion. Tons of asbestos were mined in the United States during the twentieth century and put into thousands of products. Among these asbestos-containing products were asbestos clothing and gloves.
Until the health hazards associated with asbestos, including mesothelioma cancer and other diseases, became known to the public, its use was not regulated in the United States. Because of the minerals flexibility and fire-resistance, it was a desirable material for use in protective clothing and gloves. Asbestos fibers could be separated into threads and processed, much like cotton, with other fibers and woven into fabric. This fabric was then used to make protective clothing, like aprons, gloves, and pants, to protect firemen and industry workers from fires and heated equipment.
Those who have worked in to produce protective clothing and gloves that contained asbestos may have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma cancer. Finished asbestos clothing and gloves do not present a danger until fabric becomes worn, ripped, or cut. Asbestos is hazardous when the mineral is damaged or in raw form. As protective clothing factory workers wove, cut, and stitched the asbestos fabric, asbestos fibers from the cloth were made loose and released into the air. This put those who worked to manufacture protective clothing, as well as those who wore the finished product, at risk of inhaling asbestos dust. Once inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers can cause inflammation and scarring to organ tissues that may lead to the development of peritoneal mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, or pericardial mesothelioma along with other asbestos-related diseases.
Unfortunately, millions of people have been exposed to asbestos over the years. Only now are we able to see the disastrous effects of asbestos exposure in the workplace. Generally, it takes 10 to 60 years from the time of asbestos exposure until symptoms appear or mesothelioma is diagnosed.
Many of the companies have established trust funds to pay compensation to persons injured by asbestos.
If you have mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related injury, and wish to consult an attorney about your legal rights to compensation, CLICK HERE for a free consultation.