The danger of asbestos to your health
What is asbestos
The name asbestos refers to six naturally occurring silicate minerals. The fact that it is found in nature does not automatically mean it is a harmless substance. It is a very good electrical insulator and highly resistant to heat and that is why it was widely used as a building material.
Each fiber is composed of many microscopic fibrils that can become airborne when it is cut, broken, or abraded by rough handling.
When it is airborne, it can be inhaled and can contribute to grave health issues and damage the lung’s conditions. Once in the lungs, it can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and cancer. Most buildings from before the 1980s contained elements with asbestos.
Russia still continues mining it and produced one million tonnes in 2015. When the health risks became known, most of the industrial countries stopped using it. Actually, this is not correct. I should say when the health risks became public.
This video is worth your time. It tells about the history and its health risk. Russia is one of the biggest producers of asbestos. Russia has even got a town called Asbestos.
The use of asbestos in old times
Asbestos has been used for thousands of years and was discovered in a region of East Finland. There the inhabitants of the lake area used it to make their earthenware pots stronger. These people lived some 4500 years ago. They could use these pots for cooking. When it was discovered how fire-resistant asbestos was, they manufactured a cloth that would not burn.
Throughout history, one reads of famous people using this fire-resistant cloth. Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, is said to have used a tablecloth made of asbestos.
It seems that Marco Polo, on one of his travels, was shown a mine with this mineral and told a cloth made with this would not burn
The asbestos industry began in the mid-19th century. The first companies to exploit this mineral were founded in England and Scotland. Its use soon spread around the world. They found raw deposits in places like the Ural of the Russian Empire and in the Alpine regions of Northern Italy.
With the advent of western culture into the Americas, mines were started in Canada and soon were followed by mines in South Africa. In 1899, when large deposits were found in the Belvidere Mountain, Vermont, the production in the U.S. also started.
The uses of Asbestos
By the end of the 19th-century asbestos was widely used.
Its uses include:
- Fire-retardant coatings,
- Concrete, brick, pipes, and fireplace cement,
- Heat, fire, and acid-resistant gaskets,
- Pipe insulation, ceiling insulation, fireproof drywall, roofing, lawn furniture, and more items.
Asbestos was everywhere and as late as 2011, when asbestos had been banned for quite some years, it was reported to still be in around 50% of the houses in the UK.
Japan did not escape the asbestos craze. It was used in the manufacture of ammonium sulfate, which was used in rice production. They sprayed it on ceilings and iron building structural supports, on walls, and railroad cars.
Until 1974, its use in Japan was still very high but slowly went down afterward. By 1990 the production dropped significantly. Just as well.
The danger of asbestos
For so many years, asbestos has been present in our lives. Do you wonder when it was first identified as being dangerous to our health? Actually, the hazardous nature of asbestos was discovered a long time ago.
For over 100 years, its danger was known and still, it made its entry into our life through the main door. It was an uninvited guest who stayed far too long.
I suspect that money was the reason. So many products form part of our life and they are harmful, we are not informed and neither care enough to find out.
Montague Murray identified its negative health effects in the year 1899. Then in the early 1900s, the mining towns showed a rise in lung problems, and people died at a young age. In 1906 the first death related to asbestos was documented.
Dr. Murray was the first to perform a postmortem on a young man who died from pulmonary fibrosis. This young man had worked for 14 years in an asbestos textile factory. In his lungs, he found traces of asbestos.
Studies in France and Italy soon followed and the awareness of asbestos dangers was becoming more recognized. Over the following years, more studies were done and more deaths were officially linked to the inhaling of asbestos.
Over 100,000 people have died in the United States or are terminally ill as a direct result of working in or around asbestos. Many workers died after having worked in the shipbuilding industry. During World War II, they used enormous amounts of asbestos in those ships, specifically in the boilers, steam engines, steam turbines, and insulated piping.
Approximately 4.3 million workers were busy in the shipyards during this war and 14 out of 1000 workers died of mesothelioma and the number of people who died of asbestosis is unknown.
In the United States, they did not inform people because the industry and the government were late in acknowledging the dangers and making them known. It wasn’t until the late 1970s when court documents were presented, proving that the dangers were known since 1930. But they did not make the public aware of this. So much for taking care of the population.
An informative book
Here you will read the history of asbestos. It also explains why we still suffer this in our life, the health consequences, and the number of casualties it causes.
How clean is the talcum powder
Talc is another silica mineral that is mined. They widely use it for many things including baby powder, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. The main issue is that talc is often found in the same underground deposits as asbestos. When the deposits of talc are contaminated with asbestos, its use as a personal care product is a problem.
In 1973, US federal law required all talc products to be asbestos-free. Nowadays, there is a big difference between talcum powder used in cosmetics or the talc used in the industry. There is strict control that cosmetic talcum powder needs to be absolutely clean.
Sadly, the baby powder of Johnson and Johnson contained asbestos and on 12 July 2018, a jury in Missouri condemned the company to pay $4.69 billion to 22 female claimants. These women developed ovarian cancer after using talc-based products, including baby powder.
Some new information
I suppose that by now it is clear that asbestos is dangerous. One wonders how, at this stage (the year 2020 has just begun), EWG scientists have discovered that eye-shadow, which contains talc, is contaminated with asbestos. They found that in 1 gram of this eye-shadow there were over 4 million asbestos fiber structures.
Do you know who uses this eye shadow? Little girls who will receive the “Princess Girls All in One Makeup Palette” for their birthdays or other events. The age for this makeup palette is from 5 and up.
The package states that the set is safety tested and approved. It’s non-toxic and easily washable. At least, that is the text you can read on the package, looking at the product online. It is sold on Amazon and eBay.
There are no federal requirements to test children’s cosmetics for asbestos.
Some extra help for your health
Even if you think you eat a healthy diet, you might miss out on important minerals and vitamins. 50 to 100 years ago the soil where farmers grew their crops was rich in all the important nutrients these crops needed to grow. If you can grow your own food or buy organic you will be ok.
Sadly, those times are gone. GMOs, pesticides, aggressive agriculture have all but stripped the important nutrients from the soil. Kale (one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the U.S.) Tomatoes, beans, maize, salad, you name it, have become void of what we need to maintain our health.
If you are searching for a good and trusted organic company, you have to look no further. Do investigate Organixx, their catalog is full of excellent products for your health.
There seems to be some contradictory information in my post. On one side the authorities and the industry are informed about the dangers of asbestos, but it still is being used, even in little girl’s makeup sets. Still nowadays, we, the people are not sufficiently informed.
In case you or somebody you know are battling ailments caused by exposure to asbestos visit the website Mesothelioma. Here you will find a lot of information and help.
I will leave it at that. I am upset. I can tell you. Please leave your comment and tell me what you think.
Before you leave, look at Recommendations. It is a special page I have made for you with a collection of things you might find interesting.
Source: EWG, the newsletter of 16 January 2020
Photo Source: Pixabay
I find it very disturbing that we surround ourselves with dangerous things. Have a look at the following post. Be careful with the personal care products you buy for yourself and your family.
Thank you for this very interesting article and warning about asbestos. I thought that asbestos was banned in most of the countries years ago. But your article has shown that the problem still exists. Asbestos in makeup? And even in products for children? This is really crazy. Thanks again for the article. It’s really eyes opening.
Good Morning Kristof,
Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
Coming across this information by EWG I was really shocked. Then writing my post and looking at the history of asbestos my shock got only bigger. Having 2 websites I have come across a lot of crazy things that are happening in our world. GMO, pesticides, fluoride, asbestos, polluted water and air, men-made foods, and 5G. No problem to make this list longer, it is all very sad. We have invented all of this and use it, sometimes for many generations. Poor ignorant us. We suffer the consequences and do not know what has hit us.
Thank you so much for sharing with us such an interesting article. I’ve heard a lot about Asbestos and thank you for warning me again. I thought it was banned a long time ago but in your article, I read it is still a problem. Which is very worrying .
And the most surprising thing to know is that Asbestos is found in makeup. Especially in a product of kids’ makeup! Terrible. I would like to appreciate you and will definitely share this article with my friends.
Good afternoon Mobashera,
Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
Sadly asbestos is still being mined in the world. That there is a town in Russia with the name Asbestos I did not know. When you look at the video and see how big that mining area is it is rather frightening.
It is, of course, a scandal that asbestos is found in makeup for little girls. I really hope that this dangerous product will be taken off the market soon.
I had heard about Marco Polo and his travels and his link to asbestos. And I know that in many other instances of history, asbestos ha been present.
I didn’t know about this that Russia has been doing. If that was in 2015 I can imagine now what the numbers are. How terrible! Thank you for opening my eyes on this topic. I’ll share this post with a dear friend that will also appreciate it!
Good Morning Ann,
I think it is shocking that this dangerous stuff is still mined and asbestos still used. When you look at the video and see that town with its huge mine pit it is really frightening. As the health hazards have been known for so many years it is the money aspect that keeps the use of asbestos alive, our health is not important.
It is a scandal that is has been found in the makeup of little children.
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I found your article very useful and informative. I have learned a lot from your post.
After reading your post I realize how badly I was using asbestos-related products in my daily life. It is really an eye-opener for me.
From now on I will make sure I will avoid products containing asbestos.
Thanks for sharing this great article
Keep up the good work!
Good evening Saba,
I am happy to hear you found my article useful and informative.
To be surrounded by asbestos is not good for your health. I hope you will be able to reduce the exposure to the minimum.
Thank you for visiting my website and for leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
Hi Taetske! Thank you for another of these interesting posts.
I live in South America and in my country asbestos is commonly present in buildings and houses. And as you have expressed, I and most of my fellow citizens live unaware of the dangers involved in having asbestos present in our daily life. There are obviously safer alternatives to asbestos. But I understand how it made its way into our lives. It has benefits, but none should be considered above the health issues it causes.
What shocks any of us is how, once again, a bag full of dollars weighs more than the life of people. What shocks us more is that having known the fact of its dangerous consequences, since 1930, we had to wait until 2011 to have it banned. It would have been unacceptable to discover its consequences and still allow it to be used for a year or two. What could we say of these 80 years of willful blindness?
I’ll become an eco of this in my community. Thanks for opening my eyes in relationship to asbestos.
Good afternoon Henry,
I am sorry to hear you were not aware of the dangers of asbestos. I hope you will be able to make healthy changes to the place you live in. At least be careful when handling elements that contain asbestos.
It is disgusting when one discovers that money rules over health but sadly it is like that in our world. Only we, the people can change this by protesting worldwide and stop buying harmful things.
Thank you for your visit and for leaving a comment.
I am totally shocked that this is still happening. I cannot believe it has been found in Talc I am totally shocked. Those poor women. This is so unfair. Isn’t it crazy that this news is not widely known? It should be and all asbestos should be banned by now. This article is a real eye-opener.
My husband’s friend died of cancer because he was surrounded by asbestos. It really makes me angry that this is still happening. To think it is in Makeup and children’s products is just so wrong. Is there any wonder that so many people nowadays have cancer.
We all need to be kept informed. Asbestos needs to be banned completely.
Thank you for keeping us all in the know with what is going on around us. At least we can help ourselves by being aware of this information. Your website holds some great information.
Thank you so much for an eye-opening article.
Good afternoon Deborah,
Thank you for visiting my website again and for leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulips widget.
It is now 3 years that I am writing for my 2 websites. I have come across a lot of nice and interesting things. Sadly I have also discovered many awful wrongdoings the human race is capable of. I now know you are the first person to take care of your own health, do not rely on others to do it for you. To be informed as well as possible is the best tactic one has.
For sure my world view has changed quite a bit during these 3 years.
Wow! This is very disturbing information about asbestos but something that everyone needs to know. It is a crime against humanity when companies making money from a proven dangerous material will continue to mine it and put the health of their miners and then the civilization as a whole at risk, all for the greed of money.
I am glad I read this post because I didn’t know that asbestos has been found in talc powder. Plus the eye shadow makeup that kids use is just as disturbing that even our children are at risk. I am so happy I read this post.
Good Morning Robert,
Thank you for visiting my website and for leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
I must confess that before starting with my 2 websites 3 years ago my world was smaller and more tranquil. I got my first computer rather late in life, it was December 2013. I used to write my letters by hand. Starting to write for my websites has widened my horizon and I have become aware of many things and most do not fit the category of nice.
So many things are accepted in our society but are harmful to our health and Mother Earth. We are destroying the environment which is our habitat. We pollute the water and air, eat man-made foods that are GMO and sprayed with Roundup, and the list never seems to end. Rather depressing I think. I look out of the window of my workroom and enjoy the lovely scenery with mountains in the background and wonder why all this is happening.
Cannot believe how people will use material in products that are harmful to themselves and others. It is ridiculous how many things are hidden under the carpet and when it’s revealed, it’s always too late. Thank you for such an informative article as it provides so much insights of things I never knew about.
Good evening Bernard.
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Good to hear my post provided you with some useful information. I agree, too often things are swept under the carpet and we are kept ignorant. So awful even small children are the victims of human greed.
This is just appalling, was the first thing that came to mind for me. Asbestos is an absolute killer and my aunt died of asbestos cancer, well inhalation from asbestos heaters that they had in their house. I find it hard to believe that this dangerous material, which has been proved to be a killer, is actually still mined. And as you mention, it is when it is cut, and the micropores are exposed, that you have the real danger.
Good evening Line,
Yes, it is horrible this happens and nothing is done about it. It is obvious that humans do a lot of stupid things even knowing it is dangerous. What is worse they put the health of others and even small children at risk.
So sorry to hear about your aunt. Thank you for your comment.
Thanks for sharing your views on the dangers of asbestos .it was really shocking to know that asbestos is still used in the makeup palette of little girls and widely sold on Amazon and eBay. How come this entire business is going on under the nose of authorities? Please suggest if we can do something on our level to stop this cruelty at once .
Good evening Gaurav,
Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
Too often companies do not care about our health. Making money is more important. The FDA should check these things but too often they do not do their job. First, we have to know about these things. Then we refuse to buy those products. Just spread the news and tell the people you know.
Hello Healthy Antiaging Team,
My name is Edlin Valencia and I’m a member of the Public Outreach Department for the Mesothelioma Center (Asbestos.com). We are an advocacy group that works to spread awareness of asbestos-related diseases and help those currently suffering from them.
I noticed that you have included other resources about mesothelioma in your post and thought that our website would complement the other valuable resources you have listed.
Here are some things we offer patients that set us apart from other advocacy sites:
• A monthly online support group where we discuss a variety of topics pertaining to cancer patients.
• An on-staff doctor and nurse available to answer any medical-related questions.
• 24-hour live chat support.
• Patient Advocates that work 1-on-1 with individuals to help them find local doctors, treatment centers, and support groups.
Please take a look at some of the great information we have at https://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/. I believe that information would be a valuable addition to your page. Would you consider adding it to help us support those suffering from asbestos-related diseases?
Please let me know what you think! I look forward to hearing back from you.
Edlin Valencia | Outreach Specialist
a: The Mesothelioma Center | 1 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 301, Orlando, Fl | 32801
e: firstname.lastname@example.org | w: http://www.asbestos.com
p: (321) 284-8312
Good Morning Edlin,
Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
I really appreciate you contacting me as your website offers so much information and help. Of course, I will add the link to my post as the more information my reader gets the better. My website mainly focuses on spreading information on health-related issues. Humans sadly invent things that are harmful to their health. To be informed is the best thing you can do.