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Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has many uses It can still be found in many types of building materials and insulation products as well as in chemical filters and brake linings The actual fiber is so small that it can only be positively identified with a special type of microscope Unfortunately it has been determined that breathing high levels of asbestos can lead to lung cancer a chronic lung inflammation called asbestosis or a cancer of the chest lining called mesethelioma Attacks on early asbestos producers and those who knew of its health risks Although many valid points are raised against asbestos manufacturer one must delve deeper than the surface issues to make a complete and just decision An examination of the history of asbestos manufacturing and health hazards using contrasting ethical theories justifies the actions of early asbestos manufacturers As early as 1932 the dangers of asbestos were known by the industry that produced it It was in this year that the British first documented the occupational hazards of asbestos dust inhalation In 1935 there was correspondence between the editor of the trade journal Asbestos and Summer Simpson president of Raybestos-Manhattan This correspondence consisted of the editor asking permission to print an article about the dangers of asbestos inhalation Written on September 25 1935 the message read You have requested that for certain obvious reasons we publish nothing about the health hazards of asbestos and naturally your wishes have been respectedBy this time your objections to publicity on this subject have been eliminated and we would like very much to review the whole matter in Asbestos A discussion of the health hazards of asbestos along the right lines would serve to combat some of the rather undesirable publicity 2 On October 1 1935 Simpson replied As I see it personally we would be just as well off to say nothing about it I think the less said about asbestos the
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