March 19, 2019

Asbestos timeline

Some key dates in the history of asbestos, including its presence in Bloomington through the UNARCO plant.

1st century: Asbestos cited in Roman tests

1828: First U.S. patent for asbestos as a roofing material

1897: Vienna doctor notes asbestos inhalation causes “emaciation and pulmonary problems”

1914: German pathologist brings attention to “crystals” in lungs of a 35-year-old worker

1918: U.S. Prudential Insurance report identifies asbestos work as a “hazardous trade”

1926: UNARCO makes unibestos insulation in Cicero

1927: Asbestosis named as disease; Massachusetts asbestos factory worker compensated for occupational lung disease

1933: British doctors note link between cancer and asbestos

1934: Patent filed for asbestos brake material

1942: Patent filed for floor tile with asbestos

1943: Doctor at U.S. Cancer institute identifies asbestos as a carcinogen

1949: UNARCO files patent for insulating tape with asbestos

1951: UNARCO closes Cicero plant and moves to Bloomington

1955: National Cancer Institute holds conference on carcinogens and includes asbestos

1959: Patent filed to include asbestos in diapers and sanitary napkins

1970: Occupational Safety & Health Act passed; Owens-Corning buys Bloomington UNARCO plant

1971: Vinyl flooring second biggest U.S. market for asbestos

1972: Bloomington Owens-Corning plant closes

1976: American Mutual Insurance Alliance and American Insurance Association begin meetings on how to handle asbestos litigation

1982: UNARCO files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

1988: Trust established to pay UNARCO claims

1991: Former Bloomington UNARCO plant razed

SOURCE: Mike Matejka

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Asbestos timeline

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