Also known as the Dana Holding, the Dana Corporation has specialized in the production of automotive parts for a long time. The business was first created in 1904 with the sole purpose of producing universal joints for automobiles. As the modern car became popular, the need for mass amounts of parts became obvious. This company met the demand back then, and today develops modern car parts for a variety of models. The company has been relocated multiple times and now has headquarters in Maumee, Ohio, with various facilities around the country.
While still a student, the company founder, Clarence Spicer, received his first patent. He would use this patent to secure many contracts with the first car companies. As business expanded and cars became more advanced, his clients were more than happy to send business his way. His facilities and employee base grew, making him a wealthy man. However, at that time asbestos was widely used in the manufacturing process for car parts. This left many workers exposed to asbestos dust, which can causes diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis and other related conditions.
Car parts have to be made sturdy; to do this often requires forging and shaping metal with high heat. In order for employees to assist in the process safely, they must be protected from that heat, which is why asbestos was used. The material, now known to be a carcinogen, is useful for resisting heat and acting as a fire retardant. It was so effective that most companies issued protective gear that was made of the material. As employees wore that gear it would release dust that they would inhale. Once inhaled, the asbestos fibers lodged in their lungs and other organs.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that originates in the pleural linings of the organs. Most commonly the heart and lungs are affected, though the stomach can be as well. If it goes undetected, mesothelioma can then spread to other parts of the body. Though mesothelioma is by far the deadliest asbestos-related disease, other related conditions are dangerous as well. Though the most common complication is respiratory problems, many other symptoms can occur. Workers who thought they were being protected were actually trading one risk for another.