Most people understand that asbestos is a toxic substance but they underestimate just how dangerous exposure to asbestos can be. According to an article in mosiacscience.com, asbestos will be responsible for 10,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2017, more than gunshot wounds and skin cancer. The story is much the same in the U.K., where an average of 13 people per day will die from asbestos-related diseases—more than will be killed in automobile accidents.
In the Mosiac Science article, reporter Nic Fleming tackles the subject of cover-ups and misinformation that’s been deliberately spread about over decades. Although the use of asbestos was banned in many industries in the 1970s, it’s still used in the U.S. and Canada in certain areas. While the substance may be banned in most western countries, its use is still prolific in Asia, South American and some Eastern European countries.
Fleming interviews a 70-year-old man who is suffering from mesothelioma. Former carpenter Winston Bush was regularly exposed to asbestos, usually without the protection of face masks and ventilation. While most industries where asbestos exposure is still a risk have tightened up safety procedures, anyone who is exposed to the substance is at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.
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