History of Asbestos Related Diseases may date back to 3000 years but the documented in the nineties, particularly during the second world war. Mesothelioma is the most widely known of asbestos-related diseases, but it’s not the only one. Asbestosis and lung-related cancer are prevalent as well. They are also caused by exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is a natural mineral that was once heralded for its strength, pliability and resistance to heat and fire. It has been used for thousands of years. In fact, the ancient Greeks wove asbestos into clothing for the slaves and royalty alike, as well as into napkins and tablecloths. The Romans also used asbestos for similar reasons as well as to clean clothes. They would throw them into fire, which would burn off food remnants and leave the cloth untouched. It is believed that even the Greeks and Romans recognized the dangers of the mineral after the slaves who mined the asbestos develop lung sicknesses. It can be said that the History of Asbestos Related Diseases and dangers of asbestos have been known for over 3,000 years.
Despite this knowledge, the use of asbestos continued after the decline of the Roman Empire, particularly as insulation for armor during the Middle Ages. However, it became particularly popular during the Industrial Revolution, adding to the History of Asbestos Related Diseases. As steam engines and other powered machinery became popular, so did the need to control the heat created by the machines. Pipes, turbines, ovens and kilns all incorporated asbestos as an insulator.
Although documents from around 1900 stated that doctors were finding lung sicknesses and pulmonary fibrosis in patients who worked directly with asbestos, the use of the mineral seemed to make its way to America, especially as the railroad infrastructure took precedence. To handle the heat generated by trains, asbestos again was used, even when diesel powered trains took over. By the mid-20th century, asbestos use expanded into the shipping, automobile and construction industries.
Discovering the Link Between Asbestos and Lung-Related Illnesses
It has been noted throughout history that some knowledge of asbestos danger was apparent. During World War I, asbestos miners tended to die young, and in 1924, a British physician believed that asbestos fibers could enter the lungs and cause harm. By the 1930s, doctors had established the connection between asbestos and a fatal strain of cancer. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1970s that the United States government fully recognized the connection and decided to regulate the use of the material. By that point, thousands of people had been affected by the mineral and developed serious lung-related illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. , Yet, despite all of this, many people today are still victim to its hazards.
Sadly, the warning signs of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are similar. Symptoms often include a dry painful cough, difficulty breathing and chest pain, which are often misinterpreted as flu and cold symptoms. As a result, the conditions are often not diagnosed until the later stages, leaving poor prognosis for patients. While the History of Asbestos Related Diseases starts thousands of years, it is unfortunate that so many people have been affected.