Asbestos was once considered so safe that it was used notonly in buildings but even in water pipes. Now we know iteventually leads to a deadly cancer and deaths of peopleexposed to it keep climbing every year. Is there somethingthat seems innocent in our current environment that willbecome the deadly asbestos of the future?
Asbestos can take up to 40 years to kill, which is why itsdangers weren't spotted right away. "What you've got arefolks in their 60s and 70s who might otherwise live longer,but because of the damage to their lung tissue, it leads toan early death," says lawyer Forest Horne, who representsasbestos patients. "We're paying the price now for the useof this mineral in almost every construction insulationproduct used back in the '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, all the wayto the '70s."
There may be other seemingly innocent products in common usetoday. Once candidate may be thePVC plastic used in water pipesand food containers.
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