July 21, 2010 12:01 AM

Asbestos' U.S. legacy may be half-million deaths

Asbestos has decimated the ranks of miners, millers, factory workers, insulators and shipyard workers, some of whom began filing workers' compensation claims as far back as the 1930s. The modern era of asbestos lawsuits began in the 1970s with claims from these same groups of workers. Many had taken in massive doses of fiber and died of diseases such as asbestosis, which can develop within a decade of initial exposure.

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