Although exposure to asbestos can happen in different ways, those who are most at risk for exposure are people who worked in construction or the building trades. The high use of asbestos as an insulator has left many victims unknowingly susceptible to forming mesothelioma.
World War II caused an intense spike and increase in asbestos production to support the ongoing war effort. The success of asbestos as an insulator led to it becoming increasingly more used through various manufacturing jobs and in construction sites. It was heavily used in the 1960’s and 1970’s when the material became more common.
From the 1970’s onward, approximately 27 million Americans have been exposed to asbestos in what’s considered significant amounts. That’s with production slowing down as a result of government regulations becoming enforced in the early 1980’s.
This cancer develops in the lining of the lungs and accounts for about 75 percent of the diagnosed cases.
Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for approximately 20 percent of mesothelioma cases and is the second most common type.
This is the most rare form, making up around 1 percent of cases, and attacks the lining of the heart.
The instances of occupational exposure started to decline once the regulations began to take effect. These regulations and public awareness to the dangers of asbestos is what caused the eventual decline of asbestos being so heavily used in industrial materials.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for protecting workers from any and all health hazards by using their regulatory powers to ensure strict regulations on materials that contain asbestos. These strict standards set by OSHA have helped tremendously to decrease the number of occupational asbestos exposure incidents.
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Believe it or not, asbestos exposure is still a large risk due to the fact that asbestos is still used in the United States. Contrary to what most people think, asbestos is in fact not banned in the U.S.
Any attempts that were made to ban asbestos during these strong regulatory periods in the 1980’s was stopped in their tracks by the large companies and corporations that were profiting from the use asbestos.
Most asbestos that is used today in the U.S. is imported. In a study done by the United States Geological Survey, over 250,000 tons of asbestos was imported and used between the time periods of 1991 through 2001.