History of Asbestos

Asbestos has been used since ancient times, praised for its fire resistant properties. It is a naturally occurring fiber found in large deposits in every continent. However, it has been found to be a harmful material causing the cancer Mesothelioma.

Even as far back as the Roman Empire and ancient Greece, asbestos was used in building materials. Ancient societies also used it in embalming, clay pots, and clothing, to just name some. Even in the ancient times, people reported a lung problems in those who were regularly exposed to asbestos. Despite these reports, use of asbestos continued into the Middle Ages and even the Industrial Revolution.

The Industrial Revolution saw a particularly high increase in the use of asbestos as it was not only used in factories, but in oil refineries, chemical plants, railroad cars, and in shipyards. It was resistant to chemicals, water, and electricity making it useful to use in piping, steam engines, and boilers. The continued use of asbestos made asbestos mining a common practice by the beginning of the 1900’s. The beginning of the twentieth century saw a rise in this fire-resistant material being used in a wide variety of products, with the US becoming the number one asbestos manufacturer in the world.

However, people continued to document serious health problems they blamed on the inhaling of asbestos fibers. The number of asbestos workers who were dying unnaturally young increased and people began taking notice of the potential risks of asbestos fibers. Still, use continued and was used in building materials. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, many workers in the industrial industry, such as construction workers and shipyard workers, were at a higher risk for asbestos exposure. Even military and naval veterans were at risk as asbestos was used in building materials they were around.

However, the risks of asbestos were impossible to ignore. Although asbestos was eventually banned in the United States after being linked to asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer, many people still risk being exposed to it as it was so widely used in the past.