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Asbestos was used for decades in construction and shipbuilding. If you or someone close to you has worked as a drywaller, pipefitter, or in the Navy, you may have been exposed to harmful asbestos fibers. Learn more >

Mesothelioma is a deadly, elusive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. We provide free resources to help you understand diagnosis, treatment, and more. Learn more >

Dealing with asbestos-related disease can be hard. Finding the right doctor or hospital can make all the difference. Click here to see how we can help. Learn more >

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Asbestos Use in the United States

Asbestos until the 1970s was commonly used in a wide range of environments and products. In the 1970s, when its connection to mesothelioma and other diseases finally became widely publicized, asbestos was banned from a large number of items. However, certain products were – and are – still allowed to contain asbestos.

Historical Uses

Through time, asbestos has been used for everything from table cloths to boiler insulation on ships and trains. Those who have been most radically affected by asbestos and its related health problems are those who have worked in the mines to bring it to the surface for use in other products. These mines were primarily in the northern western states, like Montana.

Asbestos use in the United States extended to all quarters of the country. Asbestos was preferred by many manufacturers because it was extremely cheap and had a number of useful applications. These two characteristics made it a crucial component of many “friction” parts. Brake pads and clutches for motor vehicles were made with asbestos for many years. Roofing materials, insulation of all sorts, and a wide range of building components also used asbestos in the United States.

Even concrete was made with asbestos for years. This is the most common source of contamination for individuals in the construction industry, particularly those involved in demolitions. Asbestos was used in cement to increase its strength and to give it a greater degree of resistance to heat and flame.

Unfortunately, the aftermath of this legacy is still being felt today. Every year thousands of Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other diseases caused by asbestos exposure.

Contact the Asbestos and Mesothelioma Resource Center

Asbestos is a public health issue that can affect all of us. If you need more information on the use of asbestos in the United States, please contact our Asbestos Resource Center at 1-800-781-3955.

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