A Timeline of Asbestos-Related Deaths in America 

Asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous material, causes cancer and other serious complications based on research. Throughout the 20th century, it served a central role in commercial product manufacturing in America. Before regulations were implemented during the 1970S, it was used in a variety of products.

Americans who worked in blue-collar industries, including manufacturing and construction, had a higher risk of asbestos exposure. Recent studies indicate that 20% of workers develop asbestosis and other related diseases later in life.

With the potential symptoms that have been associated with asbestos exposure, the fibrous mineral has been banned in approximately 60 countries except for the U.S. It is also the number one cause of deaths across the globe, in which 90,000 people die from related diseases every year.  What’s surprising is that more than 125 million people remain at risk. In America, over 1.3 million workers in general industry and construction have a high risk. Miners, millers, plumbers, firefighters, industrial workers, insulators, boilermakers, auto mechanics, electricians, shipyard workers, and power plant workers are more prone to asbestos exposure and most notably the recent talc linked asbestos lawsuits on the rise over the very recent years.

Here are some of the asbestos-related deaths in America:

Steve McQueen – 1980. The asbestos-created disease has affected all walks of life, including the famous and the rich. Olympic gold medalists, world-renowned actors, musicians, government officials are no exception. Steve McQueen is one of those people who died from asbestos or mesothelioma.

Known as the King of Cool, Steve McQueen has fought against mesothelioma in Brazil to search for alternative treatments. After removing a large tumor, he died from a heart attack.

Joe Sample – 2014. Another asbestos-related death is Joe Sample’s case. Just like Steve McQueen, Sample suffered from mesothelioma. As the Houston-born jazz pioneer, he founded The Crusaders. He also worked with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Witherspoon, Steely Dan, George Benson, and other legendary performers.

Sean Sasser – 2013. An AIDS educator and activist, Sean Sasser died in 2013 after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Doctors explained that HIV sparked the growth of mesothelioma cancer. From MTV celebrity, he worked as a pastry chef.

Ed Lauter – 2013. Veteran actor, Ed Lauter worked in the film and television industry for over 40 years. He played supporting roles alongside Burt Reynolds, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, and other famous stars. At 74, he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2013. Six months later, he died.

Merlin Olsen – 2010. From football, Merlin Olsen has transitioned into a successful actor, wherein he starred in many television series. As a football player, he worked at NBC as a sports analyst. But he was shockingly diagnosed with mesothelioma. He was exposed to asbestos when he was young. He also handled drywall.

Hamilton Jordan – 2008. Before mesothelioma, Jordan had prostate cancer, skin cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Aside from working as Carter’s chief of staff, he worked in the military for years. Exposed to asbestos, he suffered from mesothelioma after a few years later.

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