Asbestos hazards in the textile industry

The textile industry was once dominant in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. While most people do not associate the health hazards of asbestos exposure with the textile industry, those hazards became well known after World War II and continue to afflict persons even today.

Asbestos has several physical characteristics that made it attractive to the textile industry. It is heat and fire resistant, does not conduct electricity and can be woven and fabricated in other ways. It was commonly used for blankets, tape, welding gloves and gloves and outerwear for firefighters. Persons who worked in plants that made asbestos-containing fabric or that cut and stitched the fabric were constantly exposed to airborne asbestos fibers. When the health hazards of asbestos were discovered – primarily its role in causing various kinds of cancer – the industry first attempted to suppress this knowledge and then gradually abandoned asbestos as a textile material.

Even after asbestos was phased out as a textile material, workers in the industry were exposed to asbestos fibers because the factories where they worked used asbestos as a prime constituent in pipe insulation, valve gaskets and packing materials. Even today, long after the health risks associated with asbestos fiber exposure have been well-documented, textile workers are still exposed to these risks.

The law firm of Wallace & Graham has handled a large number of asbestos exposure cases on behalf of persons who worked in the textile industry. The firm maintains a large repository of information concerning manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products. Anyone who has been diagnosed as having mesothelioma and has reason to believe that he or she may have been exposed to asbestos while working in the textile industry should consider contacting our firm and schedule a free initial consultation.