Asbestos: A History
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We blog about it all the time, so I thought it might be interesting to post ten facts about asbestos that you might not know about.
Having read with interest Sarah Milligan’s blog with ten bite size facts about asbestos I thought I would treat you to a few more facts about the history of asbestos.
- Archaeological digs in Scandinavia found evidence of the use of asbestos in pottery dating back to 3000BC!
- The Romans mined asbestos from Europe and the Mediterranean and used it many of their everyday items such as table cloths, building materials and even robes.
- It is believed that the Roman Empire and the Ancient Egyptians knew the dangers of asbestos. Pliny the Elder, a Roman Author, recommended never to buy asbestos quarry slaves as they died young.
- Charlemagne, a Roman Emperor, had a party piece where he used a cloak woven from asbestos which he would throw onto fire, it wouldn’t burn and he claimed it was because of his supernatural powers!
- The name for the white asbestos; Chrysotile, comes from the Ancient Greek words for Gold Fibre.
- Modern production of asbestos began in Canada in 1879 and in 1880 an asbestos textile factory opened in Paris. Only months later new asbestos factories began cropping up around Britain.
- In 1898 His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Factories commented that; “The evil effects of asbestos dust have also attracted my attention”
- In 1900 Dr H Montague Murray performed a Post Mortem in London on a 33 year old asbestos textile factory worker he noted sever lung fibrosis and asbestos fibres on the lungs. He made the connection between his employment and his lung disease.
- From 1952 to 1956 the American tobacco company Kent used asbestos filter tips in their cigarettes.
- On 6th October 1967 the case of Smith v Central Asbestos Co Ltd was brought in court. This was the first multi-party asbestos disease case issued in the courts of England & Wales.
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