In the United States and much of the world, asbestos was used very heavily in most aspects of construction. It was also used in a wide variety of consumer, commercial and industrial products. The reason it was so prevalent was because it’s a cheap, naturally-occurring substance that has a remarkable ability to resist heat, fire, caustic chemicals and electricity.
However, in addition to all of these helpful properties, it also causes cancer. These days, most people are aware that exposure to asbestos causes malignant mesothelioma, but this was a closely guarded secret for much of the last century. Those in asbestos industry were well aware of the dangers of asbestos, but since they also knew it would take between 20 and 50 years for people to get sick, they were willing to take that chance and pay later if necessary. Continue reading