Imagine, with what we now know about asbestos and its role in mesothelioma, walking down the aisles of your local store and seeing a Christmas decoration branded as “Asbestos Pure White Fire Proof Snow.” Today, that seems impossible. But in the late 1940s through to the 1950s, a company called the National Tinsel Manufacturing Company sold this product, marketing it by saying that it “Looks like real snow. Cleanest. Whitest. Best.”
Today it would be unthinkable to decorate a Christmas tree or set up a manger scene using a one-and-a-half ounce box of amphibole asbestos: instead we would call for a Hazmat team and keep our children as far away from the product as possible. But in the days prior to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealing that asbestos is a powerful carcinogen responsible for causing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, the mineral was thought of as a type of miracle for its ability to insulate against heat and flame, and its fluffy white appearance made it a natural stand-in for snow. Even Hollywood used asbestos freely, raining down flakes of asbestos on Judy Garland and her co-stars in the poppy scene of the movie The Wizard of Oz.
Though consumers and Hollywood producers were unaware of asbestos’ dangers, the same cannot be said for many of the manufacturers who incorporated the inexpensive material into their products. There is a significant amount of evidence that companies that mined and processed asbestos were well aware of the dangers that exposure to it posed, and that they conspired to keep this information a secret from their employees, customers, and the American public at large. As a result, countless people were exposed to asbestos fibers, which once inhaled or ingested, can lead to deadly results.
If you or someone you love has suffered as a result of a manufacturer using asbestos in a way that was negligent and led to illness, we can help. Contact us at 1-800-966-2244 to learn about your rights.