There are probably a dozen chemicals in the bathroom that we rely on to stay clean and fresh. It would be a violation to learn that one or more of them had never been as safe as the maker claimed. That is the scenario playing out in several courts as a staple of bathroom hygiene products is under scrutiny.
Asbestos has wrought havoc on thousands of people's health and the court systems of dozens of states. Compensation for use of the hazardous fibrous material as an insulator or construction material has cost manufacturers and governments hundreds of millions of dollars over nearly five decades of constant litigation.
There are not many public health issues that have attracted as much attention -- or cost as much money -- as asbestos. The substance's use as an insulator in the middle of the 20th century ensured that much of the rest of the century was spent arguing over its ill effects in court. Thousands of people suffering from respiratory disease or injury have lodged complaints in courts across the country.
Perhaps your parent had little to no idea that when he or she worked out at the Avondale shipyards that asbestos exposure would someday lead to a diagnosis of mesothelioma. By now, your family probably knows that there is no cure for this condition.
Louisiana is known as a great destination for outdoor activity, enough that the state's nickname was "Sportsman's Paradise" for decades. But recent evidence shows that many parts of the Mississippi River Valley have been dangerous to inhabitants and visitors alike for years.
Talcum powder has been marketed for decades as a method to stay dry, but it may have a dangerous side effect that users should have known about from the beginning. Asbestos among the fine particles of talc in the toiletry product may have been inhaled, causing a cancer in the lining of an organ known as mesothelioma.