Mesothelioma Lawsuit New Jersey
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While asbestos is now known to be a deadly carcinogen, it was first introduced into human societies millennia ago to tame another danger: Fire. People in ancient Greece and Rome were aware that the long silica fibers of asbestos were fire-resistant; they gathered the material from quarries and used it to insulate buildings, and even wove it into clothing and textiles. Thus mesothelioma is a disease thousands of years old. The Roman writer and doctor Pliny the younger noticed that slaves who worked in asbestos mines developed “sickness of the lung”; he warned people not to buy slaves who had worked there, and suggested they should cover their mouths with masks made from pig bladders.
Asbestos remained in limited use during the middle ages and succeeding centuries. The event that caused usage to skyrocket was the industrial revolution. Since industrial machines like kilns and steam engines were powered by heat, there was a much greater need for insulation. This eventually led to commercial asbestos mines opening in the late nineteenth century. A few decades later, cases of lung sickness began to develop in workers. Some doctors noticed asbestos fibers in people’s lungs in autopsies and began warning of the danger, but companies ignored the warnings and the industry only grew throughout the twentieth century. Asbestos began to be extensively used in military installations during World War II, and in the succeeding decades it would become ubiquitous in all military buildings, ships and vehicles.
Scientific papers continued to appear throughout the twentieth century, connecting asbestos more and more conclusively to mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos lung cancer. Internal documents from executives at asbestos companies show they tried to conceal this evidence from workers and the public. They even tried (unsuccessfully) to commission studies that would show asbestos was safe.
Finally, around the early 1970s, the evidence became too overwhelming to ignore. The EPA declared asbestos a pollutant, laws were passed limiting exposure, and workers began successfully suing companies that had put them at risk. Commercial asbestos use peaked in 1973, and quickly declined.
In the following decades, many countries outside the US would ban asbestos altogether. It is no longer mined in the US, but is still imported and used in a limited range of products. About one million workers are now employed in the asbestos industry. Existing asbestos continues to endanger people, with the most high-profile instance being the workers and first responders who were exposed to asbestos dust in the wreckage of the World Trade Center. And as new cases of asbestos diseases appear, more lawsuits are brought against the companies who were to blame.
Mesothelioma Lawyer New Jersey