Asbestos Used To Fireproof Products
To be labeled as fireproof, an item must have the power resist and stop the spread of fire. The item may burn under intense conditions, but it will be designed to contain the flames from turning into a much larger blaze. Manufacturers of fireproof products such as cement have tested many different materials to find the best ones to accomplish this goal. One of the more useful substances for this purpose was a naturally occurring material called asbestos.
Asbestos has a remarkable resistance to heat, and works well at stopping the spread of a fire. This mineral was recognized for being able to withstand extreme temperatures as far back as the ancient Greek Empire. Back then it was primarily used to create cloth materials, and according to some historical documents, some groups even cleaned this asbestos cloth by placing it directly into fire.
American manufacturers who produced building materials that needed to be fireproof discovered asbestos many years later. It became a key part of cement and other goods that were designed to hold up under most any circumstances. Aside from its fire resistant properties, asbestos is also an extremely strong substance, so it made cement even tougher and more durable. For years it was used to create fireproofing cement and a multitude of other construction products. Before long, asbestos based goods were found in office buildings, homes, churches, schools and just about everywhere else. This became a tremendous problem when the mineral was recognized as being a poisonous substance that was making thousands of people sick from working at asbestos jobsites where the product use was prevalent.
One of the reasons asbestos is such a strong substance is that it is made up of tiny fibers that cling together tightly, but those fibers can break off and become airborne. While fireproofing cement was being mixed together, those fibers could easily get drawn out into the atmosphere, where unsuspecting workers would inhale them. More fibers would break free if a finished block of cement were to be cracked or broken apart. Without even knowing it had happened, people would breathe in microscopic bits of the toxic asbestos fibers and end up with an extremely destructive internal force.
Asbestos Risks and Recourse
As the bits of asbestos remain inside a person's respiratory system, they will start to scar lung tissue, cause decay and develop into diseases such as asbestosis and Mesothelioma (including pericardial mesothelioma). Many people have died as a result of simply being around asbestos fibers that escaped from fireproof cement. When people began to discover what had made them sick with malignant mesothelioma in the first place, they worked with mesothelioma attorneys to file thousands of lawsuits against the companies that produced the contaminated products. Over time it became well known that asbestos was dangerous, but a few companies engaged in the deplorable policy of attempting to hide the fact that they were continuing to use it despite the health hazard it possessed. This caused even more people to become ill with mesothelioma cancer, and led to a larger number of personal injury claims. Manufacturers of asbestos based products began to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which would allow them to set aside money to pay these claims and continue to operate their business.
Fireproofing Cement Products Containing Asbestos
The following partial list of fireproofing cement products were known to contain asbestos:
|Product Name||Start Year||End Year|
|Combustion Engineering Pyroscat Fireproofing Cement||1964||1972|
|Eagle Picher Fireproofing Cement||1947||1965|
Find Out What Your Legal Options Are
You may have been affected by fireproofing cement if you worked for a company that produced it, or inside a building that utilized it. Those who were may have legal options available to them. Have you or a loved one been hurt by the asbestos that was used in cement or other industrial products? If so, you may be interested in more mesothelioma information and to find out what your rights are by ordering our informational brochure. It is absolutely free and will explain what your options are.