Talc, Asbestos, and Mesothelioma

 

Call 888-632-0108 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in mesothelioma and asbestos
 litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

What is talc?

Talc is a soft mineral, made up mainly of the ingredients magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Like all minerals, it is usually found in mixed deposits with other minerals, notably asbestos. A worker who was exposed to asbestos may develop the asbestos cancer mesothelioma.

How are workers exposed to talc?

Any worker who is using talc that is dry and powdery is breathing air that may contain particles of asbestos. Talc is often mixed with other materials. In addition, the act of cutting a product that contains talc may release asbestos particles.

There are many industrial uses for talc. It is used as a filler in the making of plastics.

Talc can be an ingredient in the making of cement or cement blocks.

Talc is used as a raw material to make ceramic products.

Talc is used to keep products like rubber and latex gloves and inner tubes from sticking to surfaces.

Talc is used in paint as an extender and filler, and to make the paint brighter.

Tailor’s chalk, which is primarily talc, is used by welders and metalworkers to make marks that are not obliterated by high temperatures.

Talc is used to make roofing materials. It is used as a lubricant when high temperatures are involved, and other materials would be destroyed by the heat.

In medicine, talc is used to fill the pleural space to prevent the recurrence of a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) or fluid on the lungs (pleural effusions). Talc is used as a glidant in pharmaceuticals. Talc is used by dentists in resins and waxes used to make impressions, to keep the material from being too fluid.

In ceramics, talc is an ingredient in many glazes. It is mixed in dry form into other liquid ingredients, so the person mixing the glaze is at risk for breathing asbestos.

Basketball players sometimes used chalk to keep their hands dry.

Why does talc exposure carry a risk of mesothelioma?

Because talc is often contaminated with asbestos, using talc exposes the worker to airborne asbestos fibers. Asbestos is the only known cause of the disease mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare, incurable cancer that occurs years after a person is exposed to asbestos.

Have you been affected by asbestos in talc?

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any asbestos-related illness, count on New England’s leading mesothelioma law firm to get you the full compensation you are entitled to under the law. Thornton Law Firm has been fighting for fair compensation for asbestos victims since 1978.  Call our toll free number 888-632-0108 or tell us your story here. All legal claims must be filed within short time limits so do not delay seeking legal counsel to protect your legal rights.

Causes of Mesothelioma

What are the causes of mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is generally caused by long-term occupational exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a fibrous material, and when the fibers are inhaled, they can irritate the mesothelium — the tissue surrounding your heart, lungs, chest cavity and stomach cavity. In many cases, the long-term exposure leads to the creation of malignant cells in the mesothelium that begin to invade the rest of your body.

Where can I be exposed to asbestos?

Asbestos was widely used in construction and manufacturing until the 1970s when the government first began efforts to regulate the use and exposure to asbestos. Since then asbestos is no longer used in construction, but many building and houses still contain asbestos

Primary workplace exposure generally occurred at naval shipyards, power plants, railroad infrastructures and other industrial job sites, as well as in building construction. Anyone who worked at a jobsite with asbestos exposure is at risk of contracting mesothelioma. Asbestos-related exposures have also been diagnosed in families of industrial workers. Workers with asbestos fibers on their clothes inadvertently spread the fibers at home.

Worksites with confirmed asbestos exposure include the following:

Northeastern U.S. shipyards

  • Boston Naval Shipyard (Charlestown, MA)
  • Fore River Shipyard (Quincy, MA)
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Kittery, ME)
  • Bath Shipyard/Bath Iron Works (Bath, ME)
  • Hingham Shipyard (Hingham, MA)
  • Groton Yard (Groton, CT)
  • Newport Naval Shipyard (Newport, RI)

Boston Edison Co.

  • Boston Edison L Street Station (Boston, MA)
  • Boston Edison Edgar Station (Weymouth, MA)
  • Boston Edison Mystic Station (Everett, MA)
  • Boston Edison Plymouth Station (Plymouth, MA)

Big manufacturing sites in western Massachusetts

  • General Electric (Pittsfield, MA)
  • Monsanto (Springfield, MA)

Asbestos spray sites in Massachusetts

  • Charles River Park, Office Building (Boston, MA)
  • New Brockton High School (Brockton, MA)
  • Badger Building (Cambridge, MA)
  • Middlesex County Courthouse (Cambridge, MA)
  • Prudential Tower (Boston, MA)
  • Keystone Building (Boston, MA)
  • Polaroid Building (Waltham, MA)
  • Sachar International Center (Waltham, MA)
  • State Street Project (Quincy, MA)

Boilers: Riley Stoker sites

  • Bucksport Mill (Bucksport, ME)
  • Crane Paper (Dalton, MA)
  • Crocker Burbank Power Company (Fitchburg, MA)
  • Diamond International (Old Towne, ME)
  • Esso Refinery (Everett, MA)
  • Fitchburg Gas Electric Company (Fitchburg, MA)
  • Fitchburg Paper (Fitchburg, MA)
  • General Electric (Pittsfield, MA)
  • General Motors (Framingham, MA)
  • Georgia Pacific Paper Mill (Woodland, ME)
  • Great Northern Paper Company (East Millinocket, ME)
  • Holyoke Gas and Electric (Holyoke, MA)
  • Monsanto Chemical (Everett, MA)
  • Mount Tom Powerhouse aka Holyoke Water Power (Holyoke, MA)
  • New England Power Company – Brayton Point Station (Somerset, MA)
  • New England Power Company – Salem Harbor Station (Salem, MA)
  • Scott Paper (Bucksport, ME)
  • Scott Paper (Hinchley, ME)
  • Scott Paper (Winslow, ME)
  • Uniroyal, Inc./Fiske Tire Plant (Chicopee, MA)
  • University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA)
  • University of Massachusetts – Tillson Farms (Amherst, MA)

Contact a trusted Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyer today

Thornton Law Firm represents clients nationwide. Call for a free consultation and services provided on a contingency-fee basis. If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay. Call us today at 1-888-632-0108  or contact us online.

Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which normally affects the pleura. The pleura are made up of two layers of tissue providing protection and support for the lungs and other vital structures in the chest. When the cancer is found in the abdomen, it is known as peritoneal mesothelioma.

Below are the main types of mesothelioma cancer:

  • Pericardial (heart)
  • Testicular (testicle)

Pleural mesothelioma is by far the most common form, accounting for 75 percent of all asbestos-related cancer diagnoses. Peritoneal mesothelioma is less frequently diagnosed than pleural mesothelioma and is usually found in the abdominal region of the body. Pericardial mesothelioma is rare. It specifically targets the area around the heart. Testicular mesothelioma manifests in the lining of the testicles and accounts for less than one percent of diagnoses.

How do I know if I have mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma may not develop until 30 years or even longer after asbestos exposure. Following are the most common symptoms of mesothelioma affecting both men and women:

  • Pleural
    • Persistent dry or raspy cough
    • Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
    • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
    • Pain in the lower back or rib area
    • Painful breathing
    • Development of lumps under the skin on the chest
    • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
    • Night sweats or fever
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Fatigue
  • Peritoneal
    • Abdominal pain or swelling
    • Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
    • Development of lumps under the skin on the abdomen
    • Night sweats or fever
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Fatigue
    • Anemia
  • Pericardial
    • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
    • Chest pains
    • Heart murmurs
    • Cough
    • Difficulty breathing, even when at rest (dyspnea)
    • Orthopnea (dyspnea that occurs when lying down)
    • Fatigue
    • Fever or night sweats

Talk to a qualified Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyer

Thornton Law Firm represents clients nationwide. Our firm offers free consultations and contingency-based legal services. You don’t pay if we don’t win. Call us today at 1-888-632-0108 or contact us online.

Defective Masks and Respirators and Asbestos Cancer

 

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Defective Masks and Respirators

Workers who wore masks and respirators they believed would prevent asbestos exposure have been diagnosed with asbestos cancers like mesothelioma and lung cancer. Design defects in these products mean that workers were inhaling dust from devices believed to protect them from asbestos exposure. Workers had a false sense of security, as the devices they thought were protecting them were actually exposing them to asbestos.

How Were Masks and Respirators Flawed for Preventing Asbestos Exposure?

The primary defect is that some respirators didn’t fit the face properly, allowing dust to leak in and be breathed by workers. The fit of the mask must seal tightly against the face to prevent exposure.  If the material the mask was made of did not mold properly to the face, or if the straps holding the mask in place were deficient, asbestos dust would leak into the areas next to the nose and the chin.

If there is enough asbestos in the air, even a good quality mask is not enough, in and of itself, to protect a worker from being exposed to asbestos. Today, workers removing asbestos wear a disposable suit and hood over their respirators. They also wear disposable gloves and shoe covers. At the end of the work day, the entire outfit is sprayed with water and the mask is left on until the entire outfit is sealed in asbestos waste containers. At that point, and only after all that has been done, the mask is removed.

 Who Manufactured Dust Masks and Respirators?

Companies that made dust masks and respirators include, but are not limited to:

  • American Optical Corporation;
  • Mine Safety Appliances;
  • 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company)

Who is At Risk?

Workers who may have been exposed to asbestos while wearing defective masks and respirators include:

  • Boiler and furnace technicians
  • Construction workers
  • Foundry workers
  • Naval veterans
  • Pipefitters
  • Mechanics
  • Miners
  • Railroad workers
  • Shipyard workers

What Can You Do If You Develop Mesothelioma After Wearing a Defective Mask?

Thornton Law Firm has represented workers in mesothelioma and asbestos claims, including claims for cancers caused by defective masks and respirators, since 1978. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, call Attorney Andrew Wainwright on our toll-free number 888-632-0108 or tell us your story here. We are New England’s leading mesothelioma law firm. All consultations are free and completely confidential.

Massachusetts Asbestos Lawsuits

What are my rights?

If you are a victim who has been exposed to asbestos and/or contracted mesothelioma, you have certain rights. Whenever an individual has an illness, injury, or condition that resulted from a work-related hazard, that individual is allowed to sue for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. This suit can be brought against a defendant regardless of whether the illness was a direct or indirect consequence of being in the work environment. You may also be able to apply for workers compensation and Social Security Disability benefits.

You can file a lawsuit against an asbestos manufacturer or an employer. If you are filing as a victim, your suit will be one of personal injury. If you are suing on behalf of someone who died as a result of asbestos exposure, you will file a wrongful death suit. In either lawsuit, you may seek compensation for the following:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Legal expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Punitive damages
  • Damage to your marriage/spouse

Massachusetts asbestos cases

Thornton Law Firm can assist you in determining if your employer knew of the asbestos dangers in your working environment, and exactly who manufactured the asbestos with which you came in contact. We can also help determine what types of compensation you may be eligible for, including medical reimbursement, and file for those same benefits. We file claims in the appropriate jurisdictions for you, including federal court, state court, worker’s compensation, and bankruptcy trust claims.

Massachusetts mesothelioma lawsuits

When filing a lawsuit against the makers, sellers, or distributors of asbestos products in Massachusetts, your case will be filed either in state and federal court.  Mesothelioma and asbestos cases are not filed as class actions. Cases are filed as individual lawsuits in state or federal court, but placed on a consolidated docket so that issues common to Massachusetts mesothelioma asbestos cases can be decided in an efficient and cost-effective manner by the presiding judge.

Massachusetts asbestos statute of limitations

For a personal injury asbestos suit, the Massachusetts asbestos statute of limitations is three years from the date of diagnosis. For a wrongful death lawsuit, the Massachusetts asbestos statute of limitations is three years from the date of death. Therefore, it is important you bring your case to our attention as soon as possible.

We can help

Because of the short three-year time frame allowed under the statute of limitations, it is best not to wait when contacting a Massachusetts asbestos attorney. The firm of Thornton Law Firm is ready to act quickly and aggressively on behalf of yourself or a loved one, and make any compensation due to you available as soon as possible. When time is of the essence, choose a Massachusetts asbestos lawyer from our firm for a timely resolution of your case.

Give us the opportunity to serve your best legal interests

Call 1-888-632-0108 or contact us here to speak for free with a Thornton Law Firm attorney specializing in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. We look forward to answering any questions you may have after this visit to our website. We are here to help.

Asbestos FAQs

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Forty years of experience helping victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure drives our passion to solve problems and answer your questions.  We look forward to putting all of our energy and resources to work for you.

 


Additional links to other mesothelioma information.

Give us the opportunity to serve your best legal interests

You can speak with a Thornton Law Firm attorney specializing in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation for free.  Call 1-888-632-0108 or contact us here.  We look forward to answering any questions you may have after this visit to our website.  We are here to help.


How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?

Our firm works on a contingency basis meaning we get paid when you do, by taking a fixed percentage of whatever we recover. You pay nothing up front. We pay the upfront costs like filing fees and deduct them once the settlement or verdict is collected. The initial consultation is free. Call 1-888-632-0108 to start your legal claim with the lawyers of Thornton Law Firm  today.

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What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the lining of the chest (the pleura) or abdomen (the peritoneum), the heart (pericardium) or the testes (the tunica vaginalis). Most people with malignant mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos in some form, usually on the job.

Mesothelioma is a different cancer than lung cancer.

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What are the four types of mesothelioma?

The four types of mesothelioma are:

  • Pleural mesothelioma: The most common type, pleural mesothelioma, occurs the lung  lining.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma:The second most common type, peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma: Rare, pericardial mesothelioma attacks the lining surrounding the heart.
  • Testicular mesothelioma: The most rare, estimated to have occurred only 100 times in the United States; occurs in the lining of the testes.

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What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?

The symptoms of the more common forms of malignant mesothelioma include:

Pleural mesothelioma symptoms:

  • Chest pain under the rib cage
  • Fluid on the lungs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Painful cough
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing

Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms:

  • Abdomen or back pain or swelling
  • Weight loss
  • Lumps of tissue in the abdomen

Pericardial mesothelioma symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

There is no recognized set of symptoms for testicular mesothelioma, although lumps and swelling are often observed.

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How is mesothelioma diagnosed?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should see a doctor. The doctor will start by x-raying the chest or abdomen. If abnormality is observed the doctor may either conduct a thoracoscopy of the lung or a peritoneoscopy of the abdomen. Both procedures involve inserting an instrument into the organ to inspect and gather tissue. Local or general anesthesia will be offered, depending on the doctor’s practice. Any abnormal tissue will be biopsied and sent to a pathologist to determine if cancer is present.

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How is mesothelioma treated?

Depending on your age, your health, the type of mesothelioma and the stage at which it is diagnosed, your doctor may recommend radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgical removal of the tumor, or a combination of all three.

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Are there doctors who specialize in treating mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an extremely rare condition and it can be difficult to find physicians who specialize in treating patients suffering from it. The following facilities and doctors are highly regarded for their treatment and research of mesothelioma:

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What is asbestosis?

Asbestosis can be found in two different parts of the lung – the pleura, which is a layer of tissue that lines the outside the lungs, and the parenchyma (Puh-REN-kih-muh), the lung tissue itself.  When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they get stuck in both parts of the lungs, embedding themselves permanently.  Once this happens, both the pleura and parenchyma develop scarring.  This scarring is known as “pleural asbestosis,” or “pleural plaques,” when it occurs in the pleura – the lung lining, and “parenchymal asbestosis” when it occurs in the parenchyma, or actual lung tissue, itself.  It is not uncommon for an individual with asbestos exposure to suffer from both forms of asbestosis.  Pleural asbestosis, however, is often called the hallmark of asbestos exposure; proof of significant asbestos exposure over many years.  Unlike parenchymal asbestosis, however, pleural asbestosis usually does not cause physical symptoms.

As asbestosis progresses, the increasingly scarred lungs become stiff and difficult to move during breathing. A person with asbestosis gasps for air into lungs that cannot move to take in oxygen and move out carbon dioxide.

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What other diseases/cancers are caused by asbestos exposure?

The only known cause of asbestosis and mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Breathing or swallowing asbestos may contribute to the development of many gastrointestinal cancers, including throat, laryngeal, colon, stomach, rectum, and lung cancer.

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How can I protect my health if I’ve been exposed to asbestos?

There is currently no medical treatment to remove asbestos from the body. However, you can take the following steps to protect your health:

  1. Stop smoking, or continue to be a non-smoker. Smoking and asbestos have a synergistic effect in the lungs, meaning they multiply your cancer risk beyond what it would be if you only suffered asbestos exposure or only smoked.  If you have both asbestos exposure and are a smoker, your chances of developing lung cancer are many times greater than if you did either one alone. Here are some tips from the American Cancer Society on how to quit smoking.
  2. Tell your doctor you’ve been exposed to asbestos, so that your doctor knows to look for signs of asbestos disease.
  3. Get regular checkups. Your doctor will be able to offer you more treatment options the earlier any asbestos disease is diagnosed.

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Links to other mesothelioma information

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Dangers of Asbestos Siding

What is asbestos siding?

Asbestos siding, also known as cement siding, was commonly used throughout the 1920s and until the 1970s. It was made by adding asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous mineral, to Portland cement for inexpensive and lightweight durability and resistance to the elements. Once mixed, it was pressed into siding shingles used for roofing and siding on homes and buildings. Although asbestos siding is no longer used because of the harmful long-term effects of exposure, it can still be found in many older homes across the United States and Canada.

Asbestos-related health concerns linked to siding

The asbestos fibers used in making siding shingles will cause cancer if the fibers became airborne and are inhaled. One of the most common cancers related to exposure is mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is cancer of the pleura caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure. Other diseases, such as asbestosis and lung cancer, are also associated with long-term asbestos exposure.

Common symptoms of mesothelioma include the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain or swelling in the abdomen

Which companies’ siding products are known to contain asbestos?

The following products are known to have been manufactured with asbestos during the 1960s and 1970s. When inhaled, asbestos is one of the primary causes of mesothelioma. None of the products listed below manufactured after 1975 contains asbestos, according to the manufacturers:

  • Boise Cascade Insulite Asbestos Siding Shingles
  • Celotex Careystone Roofing & Siding
  • Flintkote #60-w Waveline Siding
  • Flintkote #70-T Tapertax Siding
  • Flintkote #70-W Straight Edge Siding
  • Flintkote #70-X Stri-Color Siding
  • Flintkote Asbestos Cement Siding & Roofing
  • Flintkote Siding
  • GAF Ruberoid Aristo Insulating Siding
  • GAF Ruberoid Dura-Color Colonial Siding
  • Johns Manville Transite Siding
  • National Gypsum Chromashake Siding
  • National Gypsum Chromatex Siding
  • National Gypsum Classic “32” Siding
  • National Gypsum Classic Shake Siding
  • National Gypsum Deeptex Siding
  • National Gypsum Gold Bond Siding
  • National Gypsum Sussex “32” Siding
  • National Gypsum Woodgrain Siding

Asbestos-related diseases take anywhere from ten to 30 years, or more, to be medically detected. Although there are treatments for mesothelioma, there is no known cure. Early diagnosis and treatment for mesothelioma offer the best chance of survival when faced with this devastating disease. If you have not been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease but have had long-term exposure and are experiencing symptoms, Thornton Law Firm, LLP can provide a list of mesothelioma specialists near you.

Contact trusted asbestos lawyers for a free consultation

You have rights. Thornton Law Firm is ready to help you make a successful claim. We offer free consultations, and our services are rendered on a contingency-fee basis, which means you don’t pay if we don’t win your case. Call our Massachusetts law firm today at 1-888-632-0108 or contact us online.

Malignant Mesothelioma

In the United States, malignant mesothelioma is a cancer almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure.The mesothelium, the protective linings covering most internal organs of the body, develops malignant cells, resulting in mesothelioma. The types of mesothelioma are often divided by the particular linings most frequently affected.

Types of mesothelioma

The four types of mesothelioma are:

  • Pericardial mesothelioma:  In Massachusetts, mesothelioma that attacks the lining surrounding the heart is the least prevalent.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma:   In Massachusetts, cancer affecting the peritoneum, or linings of the abdominal cavity, is second-most prevalent.
  • Pleural mesothelioma:   In Massachusetts, the most common type is pleural mesothelioma, is where the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall are attacked by the disease.
  • Testicular mesothelioma: The rarest type of mesothelioma occurs in the testicular vaginus lining of the testicule.

Methods of exposure

There are many ways one can become exposed to asbestos particles, but the most common way is by working around asbestos. Employees of shipyards, heating and construction companies and those working in asbestos mines and mills are the populations most greatly affected. Unfortunately, family members of these workers are also at high risk of contracting the disease, usually through their exposure to asbestos-tainted clothing or hair of the working family member.

We can help victims of mesothelioma in Massachusetts

Our history of representation for victims of mesothelioma in Boston, Massachusetts, and the surrounding area is unsurpassed. As Boston, Massachusetts’ leading mesothelioma law firm, rest assured that Thornton Law Firm will handle your mesothelioma claim with attention and respect.

Give us the opportunity to serve your best legal interests

Call 1-888-632-0108 or contact us here to speak for free with a Thornton Law Firm attorney specializing in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. We look forward to answering any questions you may have after this visit to our website. We are here to help.

Basic Asbestos FAQ

For 40 years we’ve helped victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. Let us help solve your
 problems and answer your questions.  We look forward to putting all of our energy and resources to work for you.
 

Let us answer any questions you may have about asbestos

We know you may have additional questions.  The attorneys of Thornton Law Firm are always ready to answer them. Call 1-888-632-0108 or contact us here to schedule a free initial consultation.



What is asbestos?

The word “asbestos” is the term for six types of naturally occurring minerals: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite. Their physical properties can be useful for several reasons: the minerals are resistant to heat, electrical, and chemical damage, and provide excellent sound absorption and tensile strength. Unfortunately, asbestos is also toxic and a carcinogen.

Chrysotile (more commonly referred to as “white” asbestos) Amosite (more commonly referred to as “brown” asbestos and sometimes “gray” asbestos) Crocidolite (more commonly referred to as “blue” asbestos)
Tremolite Anthophyllite Actinolite

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What was asbestos used for?

The unique properties of asbestos make it hazardous. Asbestos fibers break into tiny particles that become deeply embedded in human tissue when breathed. When you see visible asbestos in the air, the number of the tiniest and most dangerous fibers is in the millions. Asbestos dust floats longer than other dusts. Asbestos has unique aerodynamic properties: the mineral frays into tiny microscopic rectangles, and they float in the air like little balsa airplanes.

Asbestos was most often used in building construction and shipbuilding. Concrete, bricks, pipes, cement, gaskets, insulation, flooring, roofing, drywall, and joint compound at one time all used asbestos as one of their components. Formerly, this potentially deadly material was also manufactured into automobile brake pads, shoes, and clutch discs.

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When did they stop using asbestos in building materials?

Surprisingly, in the United States, asbestos in building materials has never been completely banned. The quick summary is that the EPA issued bans on specific asbestos products beginning in 1973. EPA then tried to issue a total ban on asbestos in 1989 by issuing a final rule under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). But the ban was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991. The EPA issued a ban on asbestos products in 2019 under the new TSCA, but under that 2019 rule companies can petition the EPA for approval to import asbestos products. So it is not a total ban.

Asbestos use was banned by the European Union as of January 1st, 2005. Most developed countries also follow these guidelines, with the exception of the United States, Russia, and Canada. Unfortunately, asbestos is still widely used in third-world countries, with little or no protection for workers or consumers.

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Asbestos Exposure FAQs

As the victim of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure, you’re sure to have questions. Let the attorneys of Thornton Law Firm answer them. We look forward to putting all of our energy and resources to work for you.

When you have questions, we have answers

Schedule a free initial consultation with a Thornton Law Firm attorney specializing in mesothelioma and asbestos. You can contact us here or call 1-888-632-0108.  We look forward to answering any questions you may have after this visit to our website.


Who is at risk of mesothelioma?

Anyone who has inhaled asbestos can develop mesothelioma. Because asbestos is a known carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) there is no safe level of exposure.

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How are people exposed to asbestos?

In the past workers were exposed to asbestos while working in mills and factories where asbestos products were made, in shipyards in the construction or repair of naval vessels, on the construction of new buildings and industrial sites, while installing boilers covered with asbestos, and while using asbestos-containing products in a variety of heating, ventilating and air conditioning jobs. Today, asbestos is most often encountered while repairing old asbestos-containing buildings and equipment. Unfortunately, family members of workers are also at high risk of contracting mesothelioma, through their exposure to asbestos brought home on the clothing or hair of the working family member.

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How much asbestos exposure is dangerous?

All asbestos exposure is dangerous. Asbestos causes cancer, and you can’t safely be exposed to a carcinogen. Scientific and governmental organizations from OSHA to the World Health Organization agree that there is no safe level of exposure to any kind of asbestos. In addition, diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer are dose-related. The more asbestos exposure you have, the more likely you are to contract an asbestos-related disease.

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What kinds of products contain asbestos?

Common asbestos-containing products and exposures include the following:

  • Thermal Insulation: Pipe covering, cement, block, cloth
    • Applied to: Piping, boilers, tanks, turbines, other machinery
    • Often used by: Pipe coverers, insulators, shipyard, utility, maintenance, railroad workers
  • Joint Compounds, Plasters, and Patching Compounds
    • Applied to: Walls, ceilings
    • Used by: Carpenters, drywallers, plasterers, painters, residential contractors, homeowners
  • Gaskets and Packing: Cut, sheet, rope
    • Applied to: Flanges, valves, pumps, boilers,
    • Used by: Pipefitters, plumbers, boilermakers, millwrights, Navy firefighters, boiler tenders, machinist mates, shipyard, utility and railroad workers, stationary engineers.
  • Asbestos-Cement Products: Asbestos-cement pipe, board, conduit, duct, others
    • Used by: Pipefitters, utility workers, electricians, sheet metal workers, carpenters
  • Asbestos-Cement Products: Asbestos-cement pipe, board, conduit, duct, others
    • Used by: Pipefitters, utility workers, electricians, sheet metal workers, carpenters
  • Electrical Products: Electrical panels, switchboards, circuit boards, insulated wire and  cable, arc chutes, asbestos-cement conduit, explosion-proof conduit
    • Used by: Electricians, utility workers, maintenance workers
  • Molding Compounds and Resins:
    • Used by: Plastics and chemical industry workers, injection molders, various manufacturing industry workers
  • Fireproofing and Acoustical Sprays:
    • Applications: structural steel, decking, decorative finishes, ceilings
    • Used by: Sprayers, plasterers, painters
    • Significant Indirect Exposures: Trades such as spray tenders, laborers, bricklayers, tile setters
  • Friction Materials:
    • Forms/types: Brake linings, clutch facings
    • Applications: Auto and truck brake and clutch assemblies, cranes and other heavy equipment, manufacturing machinery, elevators, railroad machinery
    • Used by: Auto and truck mechanics, railroad machinists operating engineers, oilers, elevator mechanics, machinists/machine maintenance, home auto repairers
  • Vinyl, Asphalt and Ceramic Tile Products:
    • Forms/types: Tile, thin-set cement (ceramic tile), adhesives, felt
    • Used by: Floor layers, tile setters, bricklayers, residential contractors, custodians, homeowners, among others
  • Roofing Products:
    • Forms/types: Tar, felt, paper, board, siding, shingles
    • Used by: Roofers, residential contractors, sheet metal workers, homeowners
  • Roofing Products:
    • Forms/types: Tar, felt, paper, board, siding, shingles
    • Used by: Roofers, residential contractors, sheet metal workers, homeowners
  • Asbestos Fiber:
    • Forms/types: Raw asbestos fiber in various grades
    • Used by: Manufacturing workers, longshore workers
  • Machinery: Boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, heat exchangers, steam traps, condensers, tanks, compressors, ovens, kilns, paper mill machinery, textile machinery, printing machinery
    • Containing: Asbestos thermal insulation, gaskets and packing, asbestos board, felts, brakes, used in or on machinery
    • Used by: Pipefitters, boilermakers, millwrights, Navy firefighters, boiler tenders, machinist mates, and other Navy personnel. Shipyard, utility, industrial maintenance, HVAC, heating repair, and foundry workers, plumbers, stationary engineers, workers in the paper, textile and other manufacturing industries

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Which workers were exposed to asbestos?

Any worker who works in the construction or repair of any building, machine, or other worksite where asbestos fibers were released into the air has been exposed to asbestos. Further, many are exposed to asbestos through their work with or near other workers or tradesmen who worked directly with asbestos or asbestos products.  We have also represented spouses and other family members with mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos through the person and/or clothing of a family member.

Common trades exposed to asbestos include:

  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Auto mechanics
  • Miners
  • Pipe fitters
  • Iron workers
  • HVAC workers
  • Navy veterans
  • Construction workers
  • Shipbuilders
  • Railroad workers
  • Boilermakers
  • Insulators
  • Consumers

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Where were asbestos products used?

The lawyers at Thornton Law Firm represent mesothelioma victims for asbestos exposures that have occurred across the United States during a variety of industrial, commercial, and residential asbestos work. Because of our location in Boston, Massachusetts, however, we have come to know a great deal of information about the biggest work sites in Massachusetts and New England. Our work for thousands of mesothelioma and asbestos victims in this area has generated a large amount of information about these work sites and exactly what asbestos products were used at each site. We can put this information to work for you. We represent victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure, who worked at many of the biggest asbestos work sites in the region, including:

Boston Edison Co.

  • Boston Edison L Street Station (Boston, MA)
  • Boston Edison Edgar Station (Weymouth, MA)
  • Boston Edison Mystic Station (Everett, MA)
  • Boston Edison Plymouth Station (Plymouth, MA)

Big manufacturing and construction sites in Massachusetts

  • Badger Building (Cambridge, MA)
  • Bucksport Paper Mill (Bucksport, ME)
  • Charles River Park, Office Building (Boston, MA)
  • Crane Paper (Dalton, MA)
  • Crocker Burbank Paper Company (Fitchburg, MA)
  • Diamond International (Old Town, ME)
  • Esso Refinery (Everett, MA)
  • Fitchburg Gas Electric Company (Fitchburg, MA)
  • Fitchburg Paper (Fitchburg, MA)
  • General Electric (Pittsfield, MA)
  • General Motors (Framingham, MA)
  • Georgia Pacific Paper Mill (Woodland, ME)
  • Great Northern Paper Company (East Millinocket, ME)
  • Hollingsworth & Vose (West Groton, MA)
  • Hollingsworth & Vose (Rochdale, MA)
  • Holyoke Gas and Electric (Holyoke, MA)
  • Keystone Building (Boston, MA)
  • Middlesex County Courthouse (Cambridge, MA)
  • Monsanto (Springfield, MA)
  • Monsanto Chemical (Everett, MA)
  • Montaup Power Station (Somerset, MA)
  • Mount Tom Powerhouse aka Holyoke Water Power (Holyoke, MA)
  • New Brockton High School (Brockton, MA)
  • New England Power Company – Brayton Point Station (Somerset, MA)
  • New England Power Company – Salem Harbor Station (Salem, MA)
  • Polaroid Building (Waltham, MA)
  • Prudential Tower (Boston, MA)
  • Scott Paper (Bucksport, ME)
  • Scott Paper (Hinckley, ME)
  • Scott Paper (Winslow, ME)
  • Sachar International Center (Waltham, MA)
  • State Street Project (Quincy, MA)
  • Uniroyal, Inc./Fisk Tire Plant (Chicopee, MA)
  • University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA)
  • University of Massachusetts – Tillson Farms (Amherst, MA)

Northeastern U.S. shipyards

  • Boston Naval Shipyard (Charlestown, MA)
  • Fore River Shipyard (Quincy, MA)
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Kittery, ME)
  • Bath Shipyard/Bath Iron Works (Bath, ME)
  • Hingham Shipyard (Hingham, MA)
  • Groton Yard (Groton, CT)
  • Newport Naval Shipyard (Newport, RI)

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