Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in many parts of the world. Much of the world’s asbestos production previously occurred in Canada, the United States, the former Soviet Union, China, Kazakhstan and South Africa. Asbestos is obtained from open-pit mining.
Asbestos mining in the US has altogether ceased (the last mine closed in 2002 in California), but many products still contain asbestos. Many US industries and job sites still come into contact with asbestos routinely, including construction, shipbuilding and auto mechanics. Workers in these industries are at high risk of developing asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Asbestos has been used for a long time. Its heat-resistant properties have been noticed since ancient history, and asbestos has long been used to construct clothing and implements that were both durable and inflammable. Asbestos production boomed in the American Industrial Revolution, with many different uses being devised for the mineral.
There are six different types of asbestos. Chrysotile, or “white asbestos,” is the type that accounted for 90-95 percent of asbestos use between 1960 and 1990. White asbestos continues to be the type most commonly used today, and many people claim that it is safe asbestos because it is not as easily inhaled as other types. Many medical professionals maintain that all types of asbestos at any level of exposure pose a health risk.
If you have become ill after being exposed to asbestos, please contact the experienced Baltimore, Maryland asbestos lawyers at The Law Office of Brown | Kiely, LLP.