For several years, it’s been well known that eBay traders could make some money selling to plaintifff and defense lawyers old asbestos-containing products, including even old vehicles. Typically the products were acquired for use as trial exhibits.  Now,  this online web site  is trying a new marketing approach –  advertising old asbestos product catalogs as perfect items for claimants against  some or all of the over 80 chapter 11 trusts created by entities that have entered chapter 11 due to asbestos product sales.  I can imagine this working, especially for defendants stuck in the tort system that need to take discovery from plaintiffs regarding their use of products made by former defendants that exited the tort system via chapter 11.  Thus, the website home page urges:

"An excellent resource for help with Asbestos Trust Claims, research material, attorneys preparing litigation, abatement professionals, and anyone interested in knowing what everyday products contained asbestos."

All research material is actual manufacturer’s catalogs and brochures in downloadable Color PDF format.

All catalogs can be purchased using  a Credit Card Card     for $39.95 each."

 The online images show old product catalogs from various former manufacturers of asbestos-containing products. Go here for the first page of an old Manville catalog for its industrial products, or go here for its transite board catalog. Or,  go here to relive Eagle-Picher’s wide range of fine ACM.   Or see below for the image from Pitt-Corning’s catalog for Unibestos, a product that contained amosite.

 

One learns many things at asbestos litigation conferences. This year’s learning includes being told about a collection on flickr of well over 500 pictures of asbestos-containing products. Here is a picture of a box of asbestos snow. The related collection will appear to the right if you pull up that link. Or go here for an overview of the collection.

Here is an article by an Ebay trader showing pictures of old baseball gloves, and really old football helmets (think Red Grange style helmets) lined with asbestos to provide padding. These are just two of the many uses of asbestos as a textile.

Why, you might wonder, is an Ebay trader writing about asbestos. It’s been well known for some time that asbestos litigation generated its own niche of Ebay shoppers, as is described here in an article from 2003. Why? For one, both plaintiff’s lawyers and defense lawyers seek to find visual evidence for use in trials and during discovery. So, we buy old catalogs, pictures or even samples of products. Investigators and lawyers also buy and test old products for the presence of asbestos. For example, in a case I was involved with, there was no immediately clear source of asbestos exposure, but the plaintiff had a form of cancer (mesothelioma) usually but not always linked to inhalation of asbestos fibers (especially inhalation of amphibole asbestos fibers). Testing of old appliances proved that he had worked for a few years at an appliance production facility operated by a company that sold a line of products that included wires insulated with asbestos fibers.

It’s a long story as to why, but I stumbled across some online and historic pictures of asbestos-mining and processing. The collection is presented by the McCord Museum of Montreal, which looks to be quite an interesting place. Its online presentations include a great collection of photographs and text showing asbestos mining in Canada starting in the late 1800s and moving up through the 193os or so. The photos of the steps in processing the ore are especially interesting as they show clouds of fibers, and lots of work being done by women and children. The website has several very nice tools to view the photos as a film or individually, including a zoom feature. The presentation is well worth viewing simply as a history lesson even if you are not involved in asbestos litigation.