For more than a hundred years beginning with the Industrial Revolution in the United States and parts of Europe, asbestos was used in many industries including manufacturing, residential, commercial, and industrial construction, and countless other applications. At first, asbestos was used for its excellent ability to withstand extreme heat, fire, caustic chemicals, and electricity.
It was actually around 2,000 years ago when humans first discovered these properties, and began to extract the naturally occurring silica-based minerals from the ground, and even at this time, there were historical documents uncovered showing there was a concern the substance could be toxic. While it wasn’t until 1924 when the first case of mesothelioma was officially diagnosed, it was known that people exposed were dying decades later. As discussed in an scientific article from the British Medical Journal, this discovery came from research on the hazards then being linked to what was still being referred to as the magic mineral. Continue reading