Asbestos In The 50s and 60s

By the early 1950s, workers in the construction trades, such as pipecoverers and pipefitters, were contracting asbestos-related disease and filing workers' compensation claims against the asbestos industry.  Unfortunately, the industry continued to fail to warn the public that exposure to asbestos was dangerous.  Throughout the 1950s, additional articles concerning asbestos exposure and cancer were published in the medical literature, but no information about the dangers of asbestos was given to the workers.  In the early 1960s, Dr. Irving Selikoff concluded a study of 17,000 pipecoverers and held an international scientific conference in New York City.  Most of the asbestos industry sent representatives to this conference, where Dr. Selikoff explained that pipecoverers, pipefitters, and other trades who worked with or around asbestos products were becoming sick with asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma at epidemic levels.  Despite this warning, the industry did little or nothing to communicate the deadly dangers of asbestos to the consuming public.

The first asbestos product liability lawsuits began to be filed in the late 1960s against the manufacturers of the asbestos products on the grounds that these companies had known about the dangers but had failed to warn, and now the users of these products were disabled or dying.

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