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Zimbabwe Poised to Resume Asbestos Production at Two Mines

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for iStock-526953477.jpgA recent report in the African Independent indicates Zimbabwe is poised to reopen two asbestos mines shuttered almost a decade ago, citing growing domestic and international demand for the chrysotile asbestos, a type of white asbestos popular in many industrial applications. Government officials hope the reopening of sites at Shabanie and Mashava in southern Zimbabwe could bring the African nation back to the top of worldwide asbestos production where it once ranked sixth behind nations like Russia, India, and Kazakhstan.

At their peak, the two mines produced an estimated 140,000 tons annually and about 300,000 jobs for the nation, resulting in a $40 million influx of foreign currency. Officials expect the reopened mines to create 100,000 jobs in the asbestos industry as part of hundreds of millions of foreign investment for infrastructure and industry projects. However, the economic benefits could come with a huge human cost to mine the cancer causing mineral and spur economic growth in the troubled nation.

Every year in the U.S., thousands of people receive a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis from their doctor, an otherwise rare disease commonly associate with asbestos exposure. For many decades, domestic companies utilized asbestos in a variety of applications due to its heat resistant properties. Some industries associated with asbestos laden products include welding and pipe fitting in nuclear reactors and Navy vessels, auto parts manufacturing, and construction.

A type of white asbestos, chrysotile asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma if inhaled into the lungs. Unfortunately, many asbestos cancer victims do not even know they have ingested the deadly mineral and developed the deadly and aggressive cancer until many decades later when symptoms begin to prevent themselves, leaving the patient with diminished treatment options.

Mesothelioma commonly affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) or the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), sprouting small tumors that can eventually spread to major organs like the heart, lungs, and digestive system. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, even as researchers around the world work to understand and eventually cure the disease.

Even before federal regulators began to look into the health effects of asbestos, asbestos producers and companies utilizing the mineral knew for decades about the adverse consequences of ingesting asbestos. However, these powerful entities did nothing to warn consumers and workers coming in contact with the substance about the possibility of serious and possibly deadly outcomes. By filing an asbestos cancer lawsuit, victims can recover much needed compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and physical harm caused by the negligence and indifference to public safety that asbestos products manufacturers engaged in for many years.

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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

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