Asbestos has been used in several different products throughout history. Even today, there are at least three thousand products in the United States that use asbestos materials. The fact remains that while this deadly carcinogen causes mesothelioma, asbestosis and other diseases, it is also still prized for its low cost and ability to prevent fires.
Asbestos is not flammable, so it only makes sense that when American asbestos usage was at its peak in the mid-20th century, the fiber was a popular material for use in products that were used around ovens and stoves. Moreover, because asbestos is a fibrous mineral, it can be used to produce fabrics much in the same way one might use wool or cotton fabrics. Asbestos was popular with firefighters, race car drivers, and other professions where fire was a constant hazard. These asbestos fabrics were also adapted for the home and were used to make oven mitts, table cloths, and many other products.
In this vintage advertisement, the quilted and wool-lined oven mitts are praised for their low cost and longevity compared to similar products. Moreover, the company which took out this ad, Industrial Gloves, notes that they have a whole catalog of similar products including gloves, aprons and sleeves.
While it is certainly important to be safe while cooking, the risk posed by asbestos fibers was never worth the risk one faces at the oven so most asbestos fabric materials are no longer available.
If you have been exposed to asbestos, call our convenient toll-free number 888-360-4215 to speak with a mesothelioma consultant.
Many of the products that used asbestos seem insane given our modern understanding of the effects asbestos has on our health. Products like these mitts that were designed for use around food, however, add an even higher level of danger.