During the 1950's and 1960's, vast quantities of asbestos materials were imported into the UK for use in various industries. Stevedores working in dockyards where asbestos arrived from overseas handled hessian sacks containing raw asbestos. Asbestos would seep through the hessian and it was common for sacks to split or burst open releasing fibres into the air. Men handling these sacks rarely had masks of any type and were unaware of the dangers of the dust.
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