How long did we know asbestos caused damage before the public was aware of the risks? As far back as 1900, at least, when a London doctor discovered asbestos fibers in the lungs of a textile factory worker who died at the age of 33. While the worker was pronounced deceased of severe pulmonary fibrosis, the physician believed that the fibers were the actual cause of death. By 1918, an unusual number of deaths for those who worked with asbestos were recorded by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was still not until 1930 that a name was given to this specific disease: asbestosis, a diagnosis given to those who were sickened after working with the substance. According to the Huffington Post, this was an internal memo sent from an insulation industry scientist warning about the risks of asbestos-based insulation:
I realize that our findings regarding Kaylo (brand of insulation) are less favorable than anticipated. However, since Kaylo is capable of producing asbestosis, it is better to discover it now in animals rather than later in industrial workers. – Dr. Arthur J. Vorwald, director, Trudeau Foundation, November 16, 1948The asbestos producing companies worked with the press for years to try to sway public opinion and hide the facts about how asbestos was causing serious health damage to those exposed. As recently as 2001, the Ford Motor Company spent nearly $40 Million dollars working with two consulting firms to discredit asbestos research as they faced lawsuits from former employees stating that their mesothelioma was caused by asbestos-laced brakes the company had once produced. At this point, according to Wikipedia, ‘Asbestos litigation is the longest, most expensive mass tort in U.S. history, involving more than 8,000 defendants and 700,000 claimants.‘ If you are worried you are being exposed to asbestos, contact us today to have your building inspected!