By the 1970s the Environmental Protection Agency stepped in, seriously limiting the use of asbestos. These restrictions were loosened in 1990.
The United States averages 30 asbestos-related deaths each day.
Worldwide, approximately 125 million people are exposed to asbestos at their places of work.
The World Health Organization advocates for the total elimination of asbestos use.
Asbestos use actually increased by 35 percent in 2010-2011.
Limited amounts of asbestos are still allowed in new manufacturing in the United States. Americans will find asbestos in automobile parts, including clutches and brake pads.
Corrugated sheeting and some roofing materials still contain asbestos, as does imported cement pipe.
Asbestos contamination is found in street dust, drinking water, and indoor and outdoor air.
Homes built before 1990 are at higher risk of asbestos contamination.
Currently, an insulation-containing asbestos, Zonolite, may be in as many as 35 million U.S. buildings, including schools.
Asbestos materials become dangerous when they are damaged or worn. Experts urge that repairs in older homes be done by an expert. Otherwise, people in or near the building could inhale dangerous asbestos fibers.
When in doubt, residents should call their state’s environmental affairs department for information and guidance.
When children experience secondary exposure to asbestos, they may develop mesothelioma as young adults. In one case, two men are believed to have contracted the disease by playing in a room where their father repaired mufflers.
Family members developed asbestos-related diseases by inhaling fibers brought home on a worker’s clothes.
Veterans who worked with military equipment, particularly during WWII, were often exposed to high levels of asbestos, and many developed cancers and breathing issues from the exposure.
Author Paul Kraus is known as the longest living mesothelioma patient, having survived 20 years after diagnosis.