It took asbestos about 50 years to evolve from miracle mineral to deadly fiber. Our generation was the first to connect the lung diseases to asbestos, but how long before its heyday was it used?
According to the Smithsonian, artistic monks used the material in wall paintings in the 1100s. Californian researchers have discovered white asbestos in Cyprus, while studying a monastery called Enkleistra of St. Neophytos. Asbestos was used to coat the plaster on which murals were to be painted.
But the history goes back further.
"2,000 years ago, asbestos fibers were woven into textiles to make fireproof napkins (that were "washed" by tossing them into fire), or to make a special fabric that could separate human ashes from funeral pyre material during cremations," writes LiveScience. Back then, people believed that the mineral has magical properties since it was fireproof.
If you think 2,000 years is already inimaginable, the truth is, asbestos’ history spreads over 4,500 year and it started with its use in pottery - making the clay stronger.
We are sure many of you heard about asbestos quite recently, so it may seem pretty hard to believe it has such a long history. We want everyone to know. Spread the news, let’s raise awareness!