A Century of Asbestos; Why the Past Holds the Key to our Future

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Johnson Law Group provides insights into the history of asbestos and the ways it has impacted our country.

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Few would believe the effects of asbestos would span decades, affecting thousands and creating million dollar lawsuits. Litigators have documented asbestos lawsuits into waves. Each wave is unique in the type of exposure, but unfortunately the results remain fatal.

The first wave of asbestos exposure began in the early 1900’s as manufacturing employees worked with heavy volumes of asbestos. They worked directly with raw asbestos to create asbestos products for other industries.

It wasn’t until the second wave beginning in 1960, that manufacturers were forced to acknowledge the harmful substance. Plaintiffs were primarily asbestos insulators for the construction and repair of military ships used in World War II.

Workers with direct contact suffered almost immediate health issues. However, not only did they suffer but they passed the threat to family members. Workers who came home wearing asbestos-tainted clothing would innocently hug or touch their family members, including their children. This phenomenon is called take-home secondhand exposure. The low exposure in these situations continues to increase the number of the third wave asbestos cases.

In the fourth wave of asbestos lawsuits, plaintiffs include construction and maintenance employees who worked with asbestos products. Much of their exposure came from different job sites or in buildings where asbestos materials were used. This wave also includes those living or working in areas where asbestos products were installed.

These waves tell us that asbestos is not a relic from the past; it still afflicts many people, young and old, and with deadly consequences. Attitudes towards asbestos related diseases must change if we are to ever see an end to it. Fortunately passionate nonprofit foundations, such as the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and the Center for Asbestos Related Diseases, are dedicated to funding research to cure those suffering from asbestosis and mesothelioma.

If you or a loved one suspects serious contact with asbestos, it is critical to consult an expert asbestos lawyer.

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Brande Nester
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