A Short History of Asbestos

Today, asbestos is notorious for its known link to a cancer of the lungs known as asbestos cancer, or ‘mesothelioma’. Thousands of workers have been affected by asbestos in the United States in the construction of offices, industrial buildings, ships and factories. But why is asbestos illness still so prevalent, even though its use has been widely halted since the 1970s and banned in more than 40 countries? Why was asbestos used so extensively in the 19th and 20th centuries that it still commonly causes illness today?


The earliest records of the use of asbestos come from as far back as ancient Greece. In fact, the word “asbestos” is the ancient Greek word for ‘inextinguishable’. Asbestos is a mineral that is fireproof and acts as a great insulator. These ancient people understood the benefits of asbestos, and began to use it in the construction of buildings, homes, and as cloth to make clothing and blankets. Asbestos has proven to be so detrimental to health, however, that even the ancient world was — albeit to a lesser extent — aware of its danger. Documents from the Holy Roman Empire illustrate that the Romans recognized illness the slaves they forced to work in the asbestos mines.

Despite the fact that even ancient people with little understanding of illness and science could recognize the dangers of asbestos, it was still widely used until the 1970s. Those who mined asbestos faced severe lung damage and had an average lifespan much lower than that of the average person. Thousands of American workers have fallen ill due to asbestos present in older buildings, offices and ships. Many have been able to receive compensation through the help of personal injury lawyers in Brooklyn NY. If you have developed mesothelioma through exposure on the premises where you work, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Brooklyn NY personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.

Those most likely to fall ill due to exposure to asbestos are navy veterans and retired shipyard workers, although they are only a small number of the thousands who fall ill to asbestos in the United States every year. Today, over 200,000 American citizens are living with mesothelioma, and more than 10,000 will develop it this year. Personal injury lawyers in Brooklyn New York can help.


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