Asbestos has long been known to cause cancer, namely mesothelioma, in humans. Despite this knowledge and aggressive measures to ban the mining, production, exportation, and use of asbestos throughout the world, the deadly toxin continues claim lives. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 107,000 people worldwide die each year from asbestos-related illness.
Asbestos fibers contained in products such as cement, ceiling tiles, insulation, and mechanical parts are not considered a health threat unless they are disturbed. Once asbestos fibers are released into the air, they are inhaled and lay dormant in the deep tissues of the lungs for a period of 20-50 years. Eventually, asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma develop.
Despite the staggering statistics of deaths attributed to asbestos, it continues to be mined by countries such as Russia, China, Brazil, and Kazakhstan. In just 2009 alone, over two million tons of asbestos was mined throughout the world with approximately 50% of that asbestos being mined in Russia. Today, Russia, Indonesia, India, China, and Brazil continue to use asbestos in construction and insulating materials.
The use of asbestos became popular during the industrial revolution because of its heat and fire-resistant properties and its effectiveness as an insulator. Many homes, schools, hospitals, and public buildings were built with asbestos-containing products. These buildings remain in use throughout the world. Because of this, people continue to be exposed to the toxic fibers that become disturbed by wear and tear over the years.
Examples of asbestos contamination around the world:
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or another asbestos-related disease, call the Pennsylvania asbestos law firm of Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler at 215-569-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Conveniently located in center city Philadelphia, our attorneys represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.