Mesothelioma is a deadly disease that takes countless lives every year. Common occupations include construction workers, demolition crews, home renovators, firefighters, and those working in industrial settings and power plants. Close to one-third of lawsuits involve claims from Navy veterans and government shipyard workers.
One industry less prominent than others includes clay and ceramic artists. The seemingly harmless materials they work with are often combined with talc, a mineral usually contaminated with asbestos. The clay, also known as slip, is used to create ceramics containing talc and asbestos. The kiln cones contain vermiculite contaminated with deadly asbestos.
Exposure to the loose fibers related through the air can expose artists to asbestos while playing their trades. Cases of asbestos exposure affecting clay and ceramic artists exist. Even more alarming is the same materials at schools throughout the United States.
As far back as 2007, alarm bells sounded regarding the potential dangers to students. The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) communicated with the state superintendent of schools, warning of possible asbestos contamination in art clays used by students.
Confirmation that clay was being used in schools more than 15 years ago only fuels the fear that the dangers existed long before the initial discovery. Unknowing exposure to students and professionals could have occurred.
Uncovering another industry where asbestos exposure is possible is a devasting discovery. Mesothelioma remains a disease without a cure. While more cutting-edge treatments are continually introduced, the diagnosis still represents a devastating revelation that results in an uncertain future.