The mining of asbestos began over 4,000 years ago. As such, its use has been varied throughout history. This article will explore five of the most eye-opening uses of asbestos, providing you with a more detailed understanding.
While thousands of products contained asbestos, only one was designed for use in a person’s mouth: Kent Micronite cigarette filters.
Produced by Hollinsworth & Vose Company, crocidolite filters were used by Lorillard Tobacco Company between 1952-1956.
Over 11.6 billion asbestos containing cigarettes were sold during that period, and a 1989 study of Hollinsworth & Vose Company factory workers found that around 84% of employees died of asbestos-related diseases.
In the early 1700s, paper containing asbestos was discovered in Italy. A century later, the Italian government began using asbestos fibres in the manufacturing of its bank notes.
Accordingly, everyday contact with asbestos became commonplace during this period, causing many health complications along the way.
In the early part of the 20th century, asbestos was very popular in the manufacturing of fireproof clothing. The fire resistant properties of asbestos made this a natural step prior to widespread knowledge of its toxicity.
Among other utilisers, the Royal Air Force wore suits containing asbestos, enabling the effective fighting of fires. Needless to say, this had disastrous – if at the time unforeseen – consequences for the health of those instructed to wear such suits.
When contemplating asbestos containing materials, the mind naturally leans towards images of construction, industry and building products. However, many people are shocked to discover that, in natural forms, some talcum powders contain asbestos.
In recent decades, leading talcum powder brands have faced lawsuits relating to asbestos content and the associated side effects. The cosmetic use of talcum powder makes this a highly emotive subject that is likely to rumble on.
For centuries, the useful properties of asbestos have lent themselves greatly to commercial exploitation. In contrast to the typical uses of asbestos, the material has appeared as fake snow in many successful films and theatre productions – most notably the 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz.
Indeed, synthetic snow containing traces of asbestos was widely available to in a retail environment early in the 20th century, causing widespread damage.
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You can never be too sure about asbestos content in a wide variety of products and materials. Therefore, contact a member of our team today for advice and guidance. More pertinently, you may wish to purchase one of our products to kick-start your journey to a safer world.