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Disability Category

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Asbestos Cover Up

By Seomul Evans

History reveals that through the years, asbestos companies have tried to cover-up the fatal risks of exposure to the element. During the onset of the 20th century, a London-based physician found evidences that asbestos fibers were present in the lungs of a young patient (aged 33 years old) who worked in a textile factory. The victim eventually died. It was the first recorded case of asbestosis.

The University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine in 1917 found scars in the lungs of asbestos factory workers. The following year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that insurance firms denied coverage of asbestos exposure based on what is termed as ‘assumed health-injurious conditions.’ A few years after, the British Medical Journal published medical studies on asbestosis, which clearly indicated the link between asbestos exposure and conditions like cancer and death.

The asbestos industry logically framed cover-up to protect its interest, especially because asbestos production was very profitable. Since the late 1800s, production of asbestos grew around the world especially during the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Numerous documents and evidences could clearly indicate that this industry was very much aware of the risks of asbestos exposure to workers. These documents show the cover-up being pursued. There was clear negligence on the part of asbestos companies.

In 1930s, it was already an open knowledge that asbestos exposure brings about fatal consequences. Aetna Insurance noted that it could lead to permanent disability and worse, possible death of the victim. The following decade, the risks of asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma following exposure to the asbestos was medically accepted. It was evident that asbestos firms concealed this truth to their stakeholders. There were rewritten study findings commissioned by some companies that kept the health implications of asbestos secret. Some products were even unlabeled to conceal presence of asbestos.

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In 1958, an internal document of National Gypsum Inc revealed that inhalation of asbestos dust could expose anyone to asbestosis. However, with all these knowledge, companies decided to cover-up and put many workers at greater risks. Some researchers were fired because of more findings affirming the link.

W.R. Grace in 1972 cemented its cover-up when it stated in an internal memorandum that it stands by its policy not to tell anyone about the risks. Union Carbide in 1973 advised its employees to tell its customers about asbestos not being carcinogenic. The same year, Asbestos Textile Institute acknowledged the fatal implications of asbestos exposure. In 1980, DuPont asked physicians to remove from x-ray stamps the word ‘asbestos,’ which was to be replaced by the term ‘irritant.’

From then on, only a few studies about the subject were performed because the researchers knew what the results could be. But some companies opted to make good on their cover-up to suppress public knowledge so that they could continue to rake in the profits.

Thus, a good mesothelioma lawyer is needed to represent victims. Asbestos companies are logically bent on continuing to cover-up by concealing presence of asbestos in their products or downplaying the possible risks associated with exposure to the substance. The legal fight could be harsh and exhilarating. It could be lost if the lawyer hired is incompetent.

About the Author: Seomul Evans is a senior

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daily writing about

Asbestos Cover Ups



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