Had it not been for the Great Depression, National Steel may never have existed. The corporation was founded in 1929 when three companies decided to join together to help combat the rough economic times. Great Lakes Steel Corporation, M.A. Hanna Company and Wierton Steel Company combined forces and discovered a whole new level of success.
By 1930, National Steel was growing and acquiring other companies. As the nation headed into World War II, steel manufacturers were in high demand and the company continued to expand. The company's participation in the war efforts caused them to need to hire more workers to staff their Indiana based facility and other mills throughout the nation. For years the National Steel staff continued to grow, and a startling number of them would later fall ill after being exposed to a hazardous material while on duty.
Like most other mills in the United States, National Steel had various products that were made out of asbestos on their work site. These goods, such as insulation that was used within all the large pieces of machinery, were not thought of as a hazard because at that time people did not know asbestos is toxic. The mineral was included in hundreds of different products that were used in industrial work sites, homes, schools and most anywhere else. Until the late 1970's, asbestos was actually considered to be one of the greatest natural resources ever discovered.
Over time the public was made aware of the fact that asbestos is poisonous. Dust particles from the mineral can get into the air, which means that anyone nearby may breathe it in. The dust can do a great deal of harm to the human body and it is often to blame for people developing respiratory disorders and diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. There is no cure for these illnesses, and thousands of people have perished after suffering with asbestos related diseases.
Because so many people worked for National Steel, there is no way of knowing how many people were afflicted by the presence of products that contained asbestos. To make matters worse the symptoms of asbestos poisoning generally take many years to develop, so people worked around the tainted products for long periods of time and continued to ingest more of the hazardous substance.
Are you among the people who worked at the mills owned by National Steel or other companies? If so, you may have been exposed to asbestos. Notify your doctor of this potential risk so you can be examined immediately. Even though the mesothelioma survival rate is known to be discouraging, early diagnosis and treatments such as mesothelioma radiation may help improve the prognosis for this disease.