Asbestos was once considered a miracle material. It was available in copious quantities in mines all over the world and had amazing flame-retardant and insulation capabilities—and it was dirt cheap. It was even used as a wintertime holiday decoration so that a family could simulate the effect of a blanket of snow underneath their Christmas trees. It was used to insulate everything from homes to brake pads and was used to create “safer” clothing irons and heat-resistant gloves. Asbestos once seemed to be a blessing—but then people who worked with asbestos or had asbestos in their homes began falling ill.
One country that experienced incredible devastation due to asbestos was Australia. The type of asbestos mined there—crocidolite or blue asbestos—was later discovered to be one of the most deadly types of the mineral fiber, and miners and their families paid the price for being in such close contact with it. Today, Australia has closed its crocidolite mines and placed a strict ban on asbestos and asbestos-containing materials. According to data released by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, more than 50 countries worldwide have placed full bans on asbestos and the use of asbestos-containing products within their borders. However, hundreds of countries have failed to ban asbestos outright—including the United States. In the U.S., although the use of asbestos-containing products is now more strictly regulated than in the past, this fibrous material is still allowed to be used in the manufacture of various goods you may come into contact with every day.
Asbestos is still used in automobile parts and vinyl products across the U.S. and around the world. Vinyl floor tiles installed prior to 1990, for example, may contain high levels of asbestos—and even those manufactured after asbestos-containing material regulations were put in place in the U.S. may contain a certain percentage of the fiber and be sold to consumers for use in their homes.
Breathing in or ingesting asbestos particles can lead to severe health conditions such as asbestosis or even deadly mesothelioma cancer. Asbestosis is an affliction of the lungs caused by breathing in microscopic asbestiform particles that lodge into the lungs. Mesothelioma describes several types of cancer afflicting the mesothelium of the body—a tissue type that is present in the lungs, abdominal cavity, heart lining, or reproductive organs. Victims of mesothelioma or asbestosis should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer in Sherman Oaks to understand more about their legal options. Mesothelioma may take years to develop after exposure, but once it is diagnosed it is often quick to kill.
If you need to seek legal help regarding an injury caused by an asbestos-containing material, contact a personal injury attorney in Sherman Oaks. The experienced professionals at Mancini & Associates can help you steer your way through the legal system and get compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of your injury or illness.