Union Asbestos and Rubber Co. The Union Asbestos and Rubber Co. of Chicago was an insulation producer that was established in 1941. As the demand for housing material increased in the US during the 20th century, this company helped meet market needs. After World War II the nation experienced a time of financial prosperity that revolutionized the way people lived. Many individuals upgraded from simple houses, to the modern form of dwellings that are common today. To achieve modern standards, large amounts of insulation were required. The Union Asbestos and Rubber Co. was a dominant player in the industry. Being competitive in market with many other companies requires using efficient yet inexpensive materials. Asbestos was widely used by this company to achieve a quality product that wasn't expensive. The material could be harvested from the ground virtually anywhere in the US. The way it was mined was relatively easy as well, further lowering the overall costs. To create actual insulation required manual labor, which exposed many workers directly to the substance. When left alone, asbestos doesn't present a danger. When being handled, however, dust can be released that is easy to inhale. Once inhaled, it stays in the body and has the potential to damage cells surrounding it. Complications from inhaling asbestos can include mesothelioma, asbestosis and variety of many other asbestos related diseases. Mesothelioma is widely believed to be the most dangerous of all these illnesses and can drastically reduce a person's life span. Asbestosis is a respiratory illness that impairs a person's ability to breathe. Though it is not as deadly, many victims eventually die from complications to the illness. The best way to increase life expectancy is for the diseases to be diagnosed at early stages. Unfortunately, this can be extremely difficult. Tests are rather easy, but many doctors are unaware that their patients were previously exposed to asbestos. Victims come from a great deal of different demographics, but all share one common factor. Anybody who has previously worked with asbestos for an extended period of time is at risk of developing mesothelioma or one of the other asbestos related diseases. Fortunately, many of those exposed will never have a problem, but those who do can be affected in serious ways. Mesothelioma in particular is a dangerous form of cancer that affects not only the victims, but their families as well. While early detection can help, the ability to achieve this can be greatly reduced.