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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Asbestos Production Slows As The Economy Lags

The sluggish economy is deemed to be the cause of lower asbestos production. Foster Wheeler Ltd., a producer of asbestos, has reported that it's second-earnings profit has dropped 24% based on lower sales of asbestos and lower demand for engineering and construction projects.

Asbestos, a known carcinogen, has yet to be banned from production in the United States. For decades it has been mined and used in products including insulation, floor tile, construction products and gaskets. It has been recognized as the sole cause for mesotheloma, a rare, but fatal, cancer. Asbestos exposure a significant risk factor in lung, gastrointestinal and other malignancies.

Since the latency period of asbestos related disease is 10 to 15 or more years after exposure, the drop in asbestos production may signal that asbestos related disease will also decline in future decades. In most jurisdictions, workers' compensation systems, have struggled to provided benefits to workers who have been exposed to asbestos fiber even though the onset of the occupational disease did not manifest for decades following exposure to the natural occurring fiber.

For many years advocacy groups have fought for a complete ban on the use of asbestos products in the United States. Legislation is currently remains pending in Congress.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Although I would not wish anyone to suffer the hardship of becoming unemployed due to the effects of a slump in the global economy - Although this has happened to many already.
I can only hope that this decline in asbestos production will continue, that death rates to asbestos related illness also decline.
An industry with such a lack of acceptance as to the harm it continues to cause to its own employees and subsequent purchases of there products will not be missed!