The Marion Steel Company once owned multiple steel mills in the United States, but they have since been bought out. Although it doesn't exist today, the company is still very well remembered by former employees.
Unfortunately, many of these employees do not have positive memories of their former place of work. This is largely because they were inadvertently exposed to a toxic substance while on duty. They toiled around products that were made out of asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral which happens to be poisonous. Of course at the time, no one was aware of that fact.
Asbestos was discovered in America right around the time of the Industrial Revolution. Research conducted on the mineral showed it to be strong, durable and fire resistant. Manufactures realized that the material could be formed into most any shape or size, and since it was so inexpensive it quickly became one of the most commonly used natural resources in the country. It was included in insulation, protective clothing, firebricks and many other goods that are found in industrial work sites like steel mills, and also placed in hundreds of other products that were used in homes, schools and businesses.
Eventually, further research would prove that asbestos is toxic, but that wouldn't happen until nearly a century after it was placed in residences and businesses all over the country. People who worked at locations like the Marion Steel Company were exposed to a large amount of the mineral, and were subjected to breathing in microscopic dust particles that broke off of the insulation and other contaminated products. When the asbestos dust was taken internally, it would get caught up in the respiratory system and remain there indefinitely. Once this happened, the toxins would eat away at healthy tissue and slowly cause breathing disorders and cancerous diseases, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.
The diseases that are commonly associated with asbestos exposure are incurable, and usually take many years to develop. Some people don't know they have been afflicted with these illnesses for more than two decades. Because it often takes so long for signs mesothelioma cancer to be noticeable, anyone who worked at Marion Steel or any other site where products containing asbestos were used is urged to notify their healthcare provider about it immediately.