Household Products Containing Asbestos
- Spray insulation
- Pipe insulation
- Dry wall patch
- Heat guns
- Coffee makers
- Hair dryers
- Textured paint
- Electric blankets
- Molding clay
- Fake fireplace logs
- Talcum powder
- Fake snow
- Cooking appliances
Asbestos was once used in thousands of commercial and household products, because of its many desirable qualities, but we now know that people who inhale asbestos fibers in the workplace or at home can suffer severe and potentially life-threatening medical conditions, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another serious illness, and you believe the illness was caused by exposure to an asbestos product, contact an experienced asbestos injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Decades of research has shown that inhalation of asbestos fibers or dust can cause cancer and other potentially life-threatening diseases. Sadly, a great deal of the harm caused by asbestos products in the United States could have been prevented had the companies that sold asbestos or manufactured asbestos-containing products provided warnings about the potential health risks of asbestos exposure. Americans who worked in the construction, manufacturing and other industries where asbestos use was widespread faced the greatest risk of exposure, and studies show that roughly 20% of workers who handled asbestos on the job developed an asbestos-related disease later in life.
Because asbestos in the United States was used for so long and in so many different applications, and because it can take decades for asbestos-related diseases to develop in those exposed to the mineral, the asbestos litigation is known as the longest running mass tort in the history of the United States, with hundreds of thousands of lawsuits filed against dozens of asbestos companies. Asbestos use was restricted in the United States beginning in the 1970’s, but thousands of commercial, industrial and household products still contain asbestos and could put you and your family members at risk for mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses.
“Asbestos trust funds, also called mesothelioma trust funds, have an estimated $30 billion in reserve for asbestos-disease victims and their families.”
The use of asbestos dates back thousands of years, but large-scale mining of asbestos didn’t begin until the end of the 19th century, when builders and manufacturers started using the mineral for insulation, fireproofing and other uses. Because of its durability, tensile strength, flexibility and resistance to heat and corrosion, asbestos was considered something of a miracle product among builders and manufacturers, and at the height of its use, asbestos could be found in everything from building insulation and pipe gaskets to coffee makers and hair dryers. At that time, the hazards of asbestos were not well known among the general public – though companies in the asbestos industry are accused of knowing about the risks of asbestos exposure and deliberately covering them up – and those who were exposed to asbestos at work or at home had no idea that the mineral could cause cancer and other serious illnesses.
In the United States, asbestos use was most abundant during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, and while regulations limited the use of asbestos in the 1970’s, experts estimate that asbestos is still a hazard for more than one million American workers in the construction industry and those involved in the maintenance of buildings and equipment that contain asbestos. In light of the potential for asbestos to cause serious health problems in those exposed to the toxic mineral, asbestos has been banned in more than a dozen countries. Unfortunately, the United States has yet to ban asbestos.
Asbestos is the name given to a group of six naturally occurring minerals, all of which are composed of bundles of thin fibrous crystals. These bundles of fibers can be separated into durable threads, which are resistant to heat, chemicals and fire and do not conduct electricity. These qualities made asbestos an extremely useful material for a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications, the mining and manufacture of asbestos expanded rapidly as a result, and the United States quickly became the world leader in asbestos usage. Unfortunately, this meant that hundreds of thousands of Americans were exposed to asbestos for years or even decades in their workplaces, their homes or their communities. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, but the risk of asbestos-related diseases is the highest among workers in the construction, manufacturing, mining and other industries who were regularly exposed to high concentrations of asbestos.