Industry News

Asbestos Is Still Legal??

Booze Was Banned For More Years Than This Ugly Stuff

Hey, here’s a little-known and/or oft-forgotten fact: Did you know that alcoholic beverages were once illegal in the United States?

It’s true.  They called it “Prohibition,” and it lasted through most of the decade of the 1930s.  People still drank booze during Prohibition, but they had to be sneaky about it, and if they were caught, they could end up in the paddy wagon on their way to the hoosegow.

Here are some other little-known and or oft-forgotten facts:

  • A “paddy wagon” was a certain type of police vehicle used to transport criminals.
  • “Hoosegow” was a term used to describe a jail, or prison.
  • Mares eat oats, and does eat oats.
  • In 1937, the Farmer’s Almanac predicted rain at times.
  • The 1934 Academy Award for Best Picture did not go to Jaws.
  • The Academy also snubbed Jaws in 1935, citing an obscure rule about how the film was about forty years away from being made.
  • The Glen Miller Band won a grammy in 1939 for their hit Baby Got Back.
  • Actually, that was made up.  Baby Got Back didn’t win a grammy that year.
  • Asbestos, like alcohol, is legal in the United States.

WHAA?  You may ask.  (You may not, of course.  We actually have no idea what you may ask.)

That’s gotta be another made-up fact, right?  Isn’t asbestos ILL-legal in the U.S?
No.  While substantial exposure to asbestos can make you ILL (by giving you incurable mesothelioma lung cancer), it is not ILL-legal.

Like alcoholic beverages, asbestos was illegal for a short period of time.  It was all the rage in the 1930s, when its fire-resistant properties were highly valued because idiots would smoke in bed and set themselves on fire.  But its cancer-causing properties were later discovered, and asbestos was banned.

That didn’t last long, though – not nearly as long as Prohibition.  Once the lobbyists got involved, the U.S. government pretty-much lifted the ban on asbestos only a handful of years after it was enacted.

These days, while it’s still illegal to mine and manufacture asbestos, or to make products with it in the United States, it’s perfectly legal to import asbestos-laden materials.  And many tons of the ugly stuff arrive on our shores every year.

It’s in many of the products used to build your home, from wall boards to pipe insulation.  It’s in your makeup (check the label for talc, which is a likely indicator for asbestos).  It’s even in your teenage daughter’s faux jewelry!

And it’s just as toxic as it’s ever been.

In its manufactured state, asbestos isn’t dangerous.  But it’s an easily-crumbled rock, and if it’s “disturbed” by anything as routine as a small kitchen fire or a bad DIY home improvement project, watch out: asbestos crumbles into tiny microscopic shards that can impale themselves in your lungs.

Booze may not be all around you, but asbestos is.  And both are legal.  Your best bet is to have your property professionally tested (for airborne asbestos, not for booze), and if there’s a problem, your friends at Asbestos Abatement, Inc. can make your place asbestos-free for less than you think.  With the holidays coming up, wouldn’t it be good to drink to that?  Cheers!