Asbestos Found in Consumer Products

Asbestos Found in Consumer Products

Many industrial sites contained asbestos, but other locations like people’s homes also contained the carcinogen. Asbestos is a great insulator, which is why it has been used in so many industrial and consumer products. Certain products like fake snow were especially dangerous because it was just friable chrysotile asbestos sold in a box. When consumers placed it around their homes to create a more festive atmosphere, they exposed themselves and their households to harmful asbestos fibers. This type of decorative asbestos was also used in movies to mimic the effects of snow. The most famous movie to utilize asbestos is The Wizard of Oz. When watching snowy scenes, you should know that actors are breathing in a large amount of asbestos fibers.

Home appliances were also a major source of asbestos. Many of them were not an immediate health risk if used properly, but if maintenance was done on them or something broke or was taken apart, people could expose themselves to asbestos unnecessarily. Many appliances including dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, ironing boards, ovens, stoves, popcorn poppers, bottle warmers, and toasters, along with many other appliances all contained asbestos as some type of insulation. The fear of appliances catching fire or people becoming burned caused these appliance makers to utilize asbestos in their products.

Hair dryers are another appliance that contained asbestos. They are different from the other appliances because they posed a significant health risk to individuals using them. The heating element in the dryers were wrapped in asbestos insulation that was friable. When air passed over the heating element, asbestos fibers were sent into the consumer’s air space. People then inhaled these fibers, potentially leading to mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another type of cancer. People used hair dryers on a daily basis, so they exposed themselves to asbestos daily when doing something as simple as drying their hair.

Asbestos was also able to be sewn into textiles, making cloth that could be used as fireproofing and insulation. Oven mitts and BBQ mitts were made of asbestos as well to prevent people from becoming burned when handling hot objects, and since the asbestos was in a textile, the movement of the fabric caused asbestos fibers to be sent into the air when used. Other asbestos based cloth was used in dish towels, electric blankets, ironing board covers, and fire blankets. It may seem silly to us today, but these products were considered safe and useful. With the information that we now know, past consumer products are bizarre and dangerous relics of the past.

Were you exposed to asbestos and now have a cancer like mesothelioma or lung cancer? You could be entitled to compensation. Contact us at 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you don’t know if you were exposed to asbestos, still call us. We have the knowledge to determine asbestos exposure based on work history and location.

Source:
Bethania Palma, “Was Fake Snow Made from Asbestos Marketed as Christmas Decor?” Snopes (December 22, 2017). [Link]
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