Imagine this: You just got back from the thrift store or antique shop after finding a nice jacket for the upcoming winter, a dress for the summer and some slightly used work jeans. You took a closer look at your new threads when you notice the clothes are made with asbestos – this wasn’t uncommon to find in the 1900s, but today, asbestos is a serious health concern.
Many products were once made with this fire-retardant mineral without realizing its risks. If you take home something from a thrift shop, antique store, yard sale or older family member, you may need to check if it’s been made with asbestos. Here’s what you should watch for:
Asbestos in textiles and fabrics
Asbestos is often found in older homes as wall and ceiling insulation, tiles and piping. While it helped reduce fires, it also caused lung cancer for people who were exposed to airborne fibers. Yet, before this was common knowledge, many other products used asbestos – such as:
- Protective clothing
Because of the vast use of asbestos in clothing, there may have been occupations that were heavily exposed. Workers exposed to asbestos may have been:
- Machine workers
- Steel mill workers
- Loom fixers
- Glass workers
Many of these people may have worked in and around asbestos, but these products may have been used every day in households. Adults and children may have worn clothes, used blankets or even cleaned with products made with asbestos – increasing the likelihood of developing asbestos-related cancers and diseases.
If you believe your health problems were caused by asbestos exposure, then you may need to seek legal help to find out what compensation you are due.