Thursday, May 10, 2007

Understanding Asbestos

In the twentieth century, asbestos was called the “miracle fiber” (b) and found its way into thousands of household and industrial products.

Figure A: Chrysotile Asbestos, The most common form. Photo: New York State department of Environmental Conservation

Such widespread exposure to the natural material has injured generations of workers and created a mountain of litigation that has driven numerous American companies to seek refuge in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The media has only recently begun to cover the subject of asbestos and its medical as well as economic impact. The 2005 indictments of W.R. Grace Executives, for failing to protect their workers and the general public from exposure to asbestos-tainted vermiculite, has succeeded in making asbestos poisoning prime time news.

No comments: