Asbestos used to be popular amongst manufacturers across the world due to its inexpensive nature and reliable material. One type of construction material that contained a high percentage of asbestos was asbestos lap. This felt-like material was made of at least 75% asbestos fiber and was used in products for durability, toughness, and heat resistance. Asbestos lap was primarily used as a base material for cords and ropes as well as many other items such as yarn, cloth, adhesives, and fillers.
Even though this material was used for centuries, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that the public was informed that the material was toxic. Although asbestos lap itself was used primarily in the manufacture of other products and therefore unlikely to come in direct contact with most consumers, workers involved in the production of the material are at a high risk for exposure. The fibers contained in the asbestos lap can be accidentally inhaled and can remain in the respiratory system for years. These asbestos fibers can cause tremendous damage while in the respiratory system and create life-long diseases such as cancer.
Asbestos lap can create mesothelioma which is one of the most common types of cancer formed from asbestos. No cure has been found for mesothelioma and many who develop this disease do not recover. The spread of mesothelioma could have been avoided in the first place is certain action were taken when it was known to be toxic.
Many companies immediately discontinued the use of this harmful material while other companies were too hung up in the profit they made and continued the use of this deadly material. Companies could have prevented many cases of mesothelioma from occurring if they supplied their employees with the proper gear. This gear could have been used to help protect their mouth and nose and prevent them from inhaling asbestos fibers.