Asbestos Industry Danger Cover Up Lasted Decades, Still Evades Responsibility
According to a new article in the Huffington Post, the asbestos industry has long known of the potential dangers associated with asbestos use. Many companies responsible for mining asbestos knew the secret of the links to mesothelioma and other lung cancers, but still allowed hundreds of thousands of lives throughout the nation to be placed in harm’s way. These include exposed workers, military servicemembers, and even consumers, many of whom have lost their lives as result of the exposure.
Many buildings were built using asbestos because of its ability to withstand extreme temperatures, as well as its fire-retardant characteristics. Even today, many of the companies who once used asbestos try to cover up the devastating dangers, even destroying evidence of the products they once used. Asbestos has been harming workers, their families, and many more people for so long, but for many years these secrets were kept from the general public.
Even worse, some of the companies who often face lawsuits are hoping that Congress will pass a legislation that would set precedence for lawsuits in their favor. This would make it more difficult for the individuals who are sick and dying from holding these companies accountable for their actions.
Asbestosis was coined in the early 1930s as more and more people started to fall victim to asbestos. This is after the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics noticed a growing number of deaths in workers who were exposed to asbestos in 1918, and in 1900 when a London doctor discovered asbestos fibers in a textile factory workers’ lungs after he died from pulmonary fibrosis at 33 years old.
Now research estimates that roughly 15,000 people die each years as a result of asbestos exposure.
According to the new report in Huffington Post, an internal memo from a scientist in the insulation industry was sent out in 1948, warning of asbestos-based insulation and its connection to asbestosis. Had the industry taken the warning seriously, the struggles of today could have been avoided and hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved. Instead, manufacturers continued to produce asbestos and workers, servicemembers, and more were not informed of the harm.
In 1949, another internal memo from Exxon listed asbestos as a likely cause of lung cancer. Once again, in 1958, a National Gypsum Co. inter-office memo claimed inhaling asbestos was cause for asbestosis and said it was, “just as certain as death and taxes.”
Despite the many memos in the industry, asbestos remained in use in a number of industries, exposing factory workers, Navy SEALs, construction workers, and more. The concern is that the asbestos industry is not finished with their harm of people. If the FACT Act is passed, it would make it difficult to challenge them in court. There must be action that can help those who fall victim to what is a leading cause of occupational disease and death throughout the United States.
This could have been stopped decades ago with a single action once the industry knew of the risks.
If you have been exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma, don’t take this fight lying down. These companies and other members in the industry deserve to be held accountable for any damages that asbestos victims have sustained. These people deserve justice.
At Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, we stand by your side and help you take the necessary action to seek compensation for the damages you have sustained. Call us today and learn more about your rights and options, as well as the ways we can help you obtain justice against negligent companies in the asbestos industry.