Curtains Lined with Asbestos to Prevent Fires
Over the years curtains have been made out of a wide variety of materials to achieve different looks, styles and textures. Curtains that were used in entertainment related settings such as theaters and cinemas were designed to not only look good, but also be functional. A primary purpose that theater curtains were intended for during the 20th century was to help prevent the spread of fire. To achieve this goal, they were often made using a type of mineral called asbestos, which is extremely fire resistant.
In the past, many theaters had candles burning throughout the building. This was especially common at the foot of the stage, which would have a full row of candles that stretched all the way across for lighting purposes. Sadly, this led to several tragedies in which the flames developed into large blazes, burning down buildings and claiming the lives of patrons. When the fire retardant properties of asbestos were discovered, it was put to use to create large curtains that were installed in theaters all across the United States.
Asbestos: A Substance That Was Supposed to Save Lives Not Take Them
Although the manufacturers of Asbestos Curtains did not realize it at the time, the very substance that was intended to save lives actually claimed them instead. Asbestos was in use for many years but was eventually found to be a huge mesothelioma risk factor and end up as one of the leading causes of mesothelioma for those who worked with it. The curtains that were made from this material would eventually deteriorate or be ripped, torn or otherwise damaged. When this happened, small particles of asbestos escaped out of the curtains and became airborne, where they could be inhaled by anyone working at or attending the theater.
Once the particles were ingested, they remained in the internal tissue for years and did massive damage to the respiratory system of their unsuspecting host. They also led to diseases such Mesothelioma. There are different types of mesothelioma like peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma but they each carry a similar prognosis. This asbestos disease is a form of cancer that is aggressive and has no known cure which results in typically low mesothelioma life expectancy and survival rate numbers. Anyone who came into contact with curtains that contained asbestos may have unknowingly breathed in small amounts of this dangerous mineral, which could put them at risk of developing serious health problems.
By the 1980's, curtains were no longer made out of asbestos, and most of the ones that contained the material were removed and destroyed. Older theaters may still have these tainted curtains in use, or long forgotten in a storage area. Theater employees who feel there may be any amount of asbestos on the premises should notify the owner so they can be properly disposed of by a certified professional. Never attempt to remove or destroy asbestos on your own; doing so will put you at great risk of breathing in this poisonous material.
Request A Free Information Packet
We are happy to offer a mesothelioma information packet that explains what to do if you feel you have been exposed to asbestos. It is available at no charge. Simply request one online using our form and it will be sent to you right away.