Exposure to a type of modeling clay made with asbestos is most likely the cause of an Italian schoolteacher’s mesothelioma. An Italian journal recently released a study reporting that the constant handling of DAS modeling paste, an air-drying clay used in Europe throughout the 1960s and 1970s, eventually led to the schoolteacher’s death. Originally, her case had been designated as “unknown asbestos exposure,” but it was discovered afterward that she had been exposed to the asbestos-infused clay daily for ten years.
It is estimated that 55 million units of DAS paste were sold in Europe. The paste was intended to be used as a toy and was used widely in schools. Production of the paste ran from 1963 until 1975 and a sister product, Fibro-Clay, was produced in the United States around the same time period.
Asbestos was added to the clay in order to create stronger finished products. Following the discovery of asbestos exposure leading to mesothelioma, Fibro-Clay in the U.S. was recalled. In Europe, the formula of DAS paste was altered as to exclude asbestos.
Asbestos was used for decades in the construction of school buildings. The risk of exposure occurs as the building begins breaking down, releasing dust into the air, which is then inhaled by teachers and students. This has been known and acknowledged for years. However, only recently has the risk of mesothelioma been linked to the asbestos-containing modeling clay.
According to the authors of the recent case study, mesothelioma risk from use of DAS paste and Fibro-Clay has often been overlooked. With instances of mesothelioma where the source of asbestos exposure cannot be pinpointed, the case is designated “unknown asbestos exposure.” Now that the link to the modeling clay has been acknowledged, it is possible that more cases related to DAS paste and Fibro-Clay will begin to surface. According to Dr. Barbieri of the Italian journal la Medicina del Lavoro, due to this recent discovery, there is now a need to pinpoint the origin of asbestos exposure in the instance that a case of mesothelioma is labeled “unknown.”
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma after a career involving exposure to asbestos, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. Learn more by contacting Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Our compassionate Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers serve clients throughout the region, including New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania such as Chester County, Delaware County and Philadelphia County. Fill out our online contact form or call our firm at 1-215-569-4000 or toll free at 1-800-369-0899 to get started today.