Thousands of products that consumers use on a daily basis contained asbestos in the past. The uses for asbestos products peaked in the mid 20th century, with particular demands for its use during times of war. The need for this mineral was due to its high durability and heat resistance, as well as its inexpensiveness.

Generators used to be manufactured using asbestos. Since generators run on electricity, the risk of fire is present. At one time, asbestos was used in the lining of almost all generators and can still be found in many of the generators left from that period, some of which are still being used today.  All types of generators can be found in large buildings and power plants, as well as onboard ships. Since the 1970s when the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued warnings on all products containing asbestos, generators are no longer manufactured using the toxic mineral and safer substitutes are now being used.

According to the records kept by asbestos researchers, safer alternatives were available long before the cessation of asbestos use in these materials. To save money using asbestos as a cheap material for products, manufacturing companies continued to use asbestos despite being well aware of the dangers it posed to workers and consumers. People who were exposed to asbestos by these companies were not informed of the dangers it presented. Since the exposure, many of these people have developed asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma.

Even small amounts of asbestos exposure poses health threats, but those who were exposed to it for longer periods of time or on a regular basis are at a greater risk of developing serious and debilitating diseases. These health problems are become increasingly prevalent among people who were exposed to asbestos in the past.