Older Pennsylvania residents will remember that asbestos was once hailed as a miracle material. It’s strong, lightweight and flame-resistant. At one time, asbestos was used in everything from house siding to book covers and insulation. That was before people realized that it could have negative impacts on human health. Some types of asbestos can cause serious conditions asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring material that can be sourced by mining. For a time, one mining town in Canada was named after this substance. There are two main groupings of asbestos, amphibole and serpentine. The amphibole family encompasses five subtypes. While no form of asbestos is totally safe, the amphibole family is the one that is most easily inhaled and most known for causing serious health problems.
Chrysotile asbestos is different. It’s the sole subtype in the serpentine family. Chrysotile asbestos has a more layered structure. It’s still approved for use in some places, and can be included in products like asphalt, vinyl tile, car brake pads and even roofing materials. When it’s used today, it’s typically encased in some kind of resin. Pennsylvania residents who work in the construction and auto industries should be aware that they may be dealing with asbestos on the job in the present day.
The risks of chrysotile
Over 90% of the asbestos used in any industry is of the chrysotile type. Amphibole asbestos is banned in much of the developed world, and has been for years. That means the cases of mesothelioma that are emerging today are due to exposure to the allegedly safer chrysotile type. However, industry experts caution that all asbestos must be handled with real care. The medical community stresses that there is no safe asbestos.
If you or a loved one has pulmonary issues and worked in an industry that still uses asbestos, contact an attorney today. A lawyer may be able to help you understand if your illness is linked to exposure. They may be able to provide you with good advice on how to proceed.