For about 100 years after its discovery in the United States, most people had no idea that asbestos is poisonous. In fact, the mineral was thought of as one of the most advantageous natural resources in the country because it was very strong, plentiful, easy to mold, inexpensive to mine and resistant to heat and fire. These qualities caused asbestos to become one of the most commonly used materials in the production of insulation, firebricks, fire retardant protective clothing and hundreds of other goods. Products that contained the mineral were abundant, and had thousands of different applications. They were especially prevalent at industrial work sites such as the Dotson Company, Inc.
Dotson had its beginning in the late 1880's, when the company was known as Mayer Brothers Steel. By the 1940's Jerry Dotson had taken over and renamed the company. Under his leadership the Mankato, Minnesota plant has flourished and grown to become a well known producer of steel based products. Unfortunately the site also featured several products that contained asbestos.
The toxic nature of asbestos has been responsible for the death of thousands of people in the US, and for making millions more seriously ill. People who have been exposed to it often develop breathing disorders and diseases. Several types of cancer, including mesothelioma, are regularly linked to this hazardous material. Over the years the very presence of items containing asbestos has resulted in tragedies all throughout the nation. The reason that simply being around items which contain asbestos is so dangerous is that the mineral is made up of millions of tiny fibers that cling together. Although they are tightly wound, the fibers can easily break off and when they do they float in the air. Since they get into the air supply, people breathe them in, and when this happens the poisonous material will stick to the respiratory system. Over a period of many years, or even decades, the toxins can destroy healthy tissue and lead to serious disorders and mesothelioma cancer. Anytime people are in close proximity to asbestos, they are in danger of inhaling trace amounts of the hazardous substance.
People who worked for the Dotson Company, Inc. over the years may have been exposed to asbestos on a regular basis. If you were among that group, you could still be at risk today. Contact your doctor and explain any workplace asbestos history so that they may best advise you on possible warning signs of an asbestos cancer.