The use of asbestos in millions of homes and other structures during the last century means there is a colossal "installed base" of asbestos contamination across the nation. Many homes and buildings are now of an age that will demand renovations or demolition.
For do-it-yourselfers, asbestos often represents an unknown danger, and many may innocently proceed with remodeling projects without grasping the risk they pose to themselves or their families. And for those that do recognize the danger, the expense of professional asbestos abatement will add significant costs to any project.
And yet the merchants of doubt have managed to create a world were asbestos remains legal to use in many applications and the EPA regulations that would have strictly limited its use have never been reintroduced.
Because mesothelioma is caused by asbestos, when someone develops the disease, you know they were exposed to asbestos at some point in the past. Due to the long latency periods, however, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly where someone was exposed.
If they worked with numerous applications of asbestos during their career, any one of those exposures could have triggered the development of mesothelioma. The asbestos-defense industry plays the game of "not me" with victims, always pointing a finger at some other potential source of the exposure.
They would like to portray the entire asbestos claims process as a sham, with poor, defenseless asbestos corporations being mercilessly attacked by dying mesothelioma victims.
Many would like you to believe that the danger posed by asbestos is long past, and that few new cases of mesothelioma are likely to appear. Sadly, the number of cases appear to be increasing and there is little doubt that many of those falling ill developed mesothelioma from exposure that may be even more difficult to identify than those exposed in traditional industrial settings.
While the number of these cases increase, the Merchants of Doubt are likely to redouble their efforts.
Thedailybeast.com, "Meet the Merchants of Doubt: The PR Firms Giving You Cancer, Causing Acid Rain and Killing the Planet," Lewis Beale, March 3, 2015