Cigarettes are sold and smoked in Pennsylvania, despite clear ties between tobacco use and deadly diseases. The hazards of asbestos exposure are also widely known, but many Allegheny County consumers purchase products containing asbestos, which is known to cause life-threatening cancers. The mineral fiber is a superior insulator and heat resistor, perfect for industrial applications but highly dangerous to health.
Asbestos found its way into shipbuilding, construction materials, household products and vehicles – around 3,000 different products, according to The Mesothelioma Center. Manufacturers were unwilling to end their love affair with asbestos, even after companies learned the fiber sickened and killed workers in contact with it. By the 1960s, evidence of asbestos' connection to cancer was undeniable.