Asbestos Exposure from Fake Snow

Asbestos Exposure from Fake Snow

Asbestos was considered a useful material because of its fireproof and insulative properties, so it was adopted in ships, factories, and other industries that deal with a lot of heat. It is made up of microscopic fibers that are very light and indestructible, which are very easy to inhale and become lodged in people’s lungs. Bodies cannot break the fibers down and remove them, so the fibers end up staying and causing cancer over a long period of time. Many industries used it without telling their employees of the dangers so many people worked all their lives and then developed cancers like mesothelioma or lung cancer.

In addition to industrial uses asbestos was also used as decorations in people’s homes. Since real snow melts when brought inside, a fake alternative is needed to create the illusion of snow. Some companies chose asbestos because of its fluffy white appearance. Clearly this was a bad choice because people were bringing harmful asbestos fibers into their homes and were inhaling them. They were making their homes more festive and were preparing for Christmas, but were also poisoning themselves and their families. With so many homes choosing to decorate for Christmas and putting asbestos in their homes to do it, many people potentially developed mesothelioma or lung cancer from their Christmas decorations.

Asbestos was also used as snow in movie productions. To create the illusion of snow, it was sprinkled on actors when filming different scenes, filling the air with asbestos fibers. The most famous film with asbestos being used as snow is The Wizard of Oz. The asbestos was sprinkled on Judy Garland and the other actors to recreate a snow scene. The scarecrow costume was also made of asbestos, so the actor was wearing asbestos on a daily basis during the filming of the movie. Cotton could have been used but it is flammable so the production chose to use asbestos to make sure a fire did not break out.

Asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen that should never have been used in the home or for making movies. People can be seriously hurt by the substance and exposure to the carcinogen needs to be avoided at all costs. People exposed have the chance of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, which is a scarring of the lungs. Many people who were exposed through their workplace were later diagnosed with one of these illnesses. If you were diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma and worked with asbestos, you could be entitled to compensation. Call us at 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form and a member of our staff will get back to you as soon as possible. We will do whatever we can to get you the compensation you deserve.

Sources:
Bethania Palma, “Was Fake Snow Made from Asbestos Marketed as Christmas Decor?” Snopes (December 22, 2017). [Link]
Ernie Smith, “The Slow Demise of Asbestos, the Carcinogen That Gave ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Snow” Atlas Obscura (August 1, 2016). [Link]
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