Resources for Patients and their Families


What is a Wick and What Is Its Use?

The product known as wick has many uses. It has been used as an insulation material, to make rope or yarn, and more recently to light candles, lanterns and stoves. Prior to the 1970's, most wick was made out of a mineral that is able to withstand extreme temperatures, and could even resist and help contain the spread of fire. Furthermore, the material was found in large deposits which were easy to mine, making it very inexpensive. This once popular substance was asbestos, and from the start of the American Industrial Revolution it was looked upon as one of the most beneficial natural resources ever discovered.

Why Was Asbestos Banned?

So why was such a useful and advantageous material eventually banned by the Environmental Protection Agency? It was also poisonous. The toxins that were contained in even the smallest particles were enough to to make an adult extremely sick. People would become afflicted by this poisonous material when they unknowingly breathed it in. Microscopic dust particles of asbestos can easily become separated and then infiltrate the air supply. When they are inhaled, they become permanently lodged in the respiratory system, where they will start to scar delicate tissues and make breathing extremely difficult. Advanced cases will result in a chronic disorder called asbestosis, or even mesothelioma, which is a cancerous disease that shows low survival rates.

The different types of mesothelioma cells include papillary mesothelioma and sarcomatoid mesothelioma to name a couple. Because there is no cure there are few mesothelioma patients that go into remission as a result of treatment. There are some newer treatment options available at leading mesothelioma clinics, however, including pleurocentesis, pleurodesis, and extrapleural pneumonectomy as well as drug therapy using Alimta®, Onconase and Navelbine. Look through our mesothelioma treatment guide for more comprehensive information.

The discovery that asbestos was a health hazard took many years to become public knowledge. In the meantime, many of the executives who owned the companies that utilized the mineral learned of the danger. Most of them did the right thing and discontinued its use immediately, but others took a more greedy and inhumane approach by continuing to include it in their products. This resulted in more people becoming ill and some losing their lives. Some of the executives who were known to possess this knowledge and yet chose to ignore it faced criminal charges for their negligence. To make matters worse, all these officials would need to have done to protect their employees was to provide them with simple gear such as masks to properly cover their mouths and noses. Instead, the workers were never even told about the threat they were facing. Additionally, the customers who purchased these contaminated products were not made aware of the potential danger.

Lawsuits Files Against Manufacturers

As people learned that many of their illnesses were caused by goods such as Wick, a furor spread across the United States. People fought back in the only way they could and filed thousands of lawsuits against the manufacturers who allowed them to be placed in harm's way. The majority of these companies were soon experiencing massive debt, and filed for bankruptcy protection. A condition of them remaining in business was the establishment of a trust fund with money set aside specifically to pay off all valid personal injury claims brought forth by victims of asbestos exposure.

Wicking Products Containing Asbestos

The following partial list of wicking products were known to contain asbestos:

Product Name Start Year End Year
Amatex Asbestos Wick 1962
Johns Manville Asbestos Wick Packing 1983
Nicolet Wick Packing
Raymark Raybestos Quik-Flame Woven Asbestos Wicking
Raymark Wick

Inquire About Your Legal Rights

Would you like to find out more about the process of requesting monetary compensation? We are here to help. Request a copy of our informative brochure that covers this topic and others that are related to asbestos and the diseases to which it often leads. This is a free service, that is available to anyone upon request.

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