Asbestos in Manufacturing
The history of using asbestos in modern manufacturing dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century, when it was prized for its ability to withstand heat and extreme durability. These prominent characteristics made asbestos an essential material used during the Industrial Revolution, finding use in a variety of products to make them fireproof, chemically resistant and stronger. Furthermore, asbestos was naturally-occurring and relatively easy to collect, making it an ideal additive that was also inexpensive.
As a result, countless American companies utilized this material, accounting for numerous products that were contaminated with this chemical. One study estimated that 3,000 products contained asbestos. However, the presence of this material in these products is highly dangerous, as it can become dislodged and infect users. Although knowledge of the danger of asbestos dates back to its earliest use, it wasn’t until the beginning of the twentieth century that doctors began to research the effects and document the diseases that developed as a result of this asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Nevertheless, many of these companies purposely ignored or concealed these findings, allowing their employees to risk continued exposure and putting their toxic products on the public market. Furthermore, the lack of concern many of these company managers and executives showed for their employees remains an embarrassing reality of our past industry, as they so clearly valued profit over human life. Below is a list of companies responsible for manufacturing products containing asbestos.