During the 20th century, asbestos was pretty much everywhere: ceiling tiles, walls, oven mitts, stove tops, brake linings and so much more. It was in office buildings, military ships and planes, factories and plenty of other constructs.

Bowling balls, too? As unlikely as it may seem, it’s true.

In 2019, a Los Angeles jury awarded $4.3 million to the family of a mesothelioma victim. The victim, who passed away in 2013 from this aggressive cancer, owned a bowling alley from 1957-1986. Surprisingly, the bowling alley was the main source of his exposure to asbestos, which causes mesothelioma.

The man drilled finger holes into bowling balls as part of operating the alley. Bowling balls at the time were built with asbestos. Drilling holes disturbed, loosened, and sprayed asbestos fibers — which are pointed.

These fibers float weightlessly in the air. If the person drilling holes is unmasked, they’ll almost certainly breathe in the fibers or swallow them without noticing. The fibers can travel to the lungs, the lining around the lungs (pleura) or the lining around the abdomen (peritoneum). In each instance, the sharp fibers can puncture tissue and cause irritation, which leads to a tumor.

The mesothelioma lawsuit, filed by the bowling alley owner’s family, is against a manufacturing company, which reportedly sold discarded brake lining dust from its manufacturing plant in New York. The dust, which contains heavy amounts of asbestos, was used to create a specific type of bowling ball. There was no warning of asbestos present in the balls, which put people drilling finger holes in danger.

Honeywell, the defendant company, appealed the decision. The appellate court upheld the original ruling.

Asbestos played a significant part in manufacturing practices for decades. Unfortunately, this means asbestos remains part of our world today. It hides in the corners of old houses, in old household appliances, in the brake linings of old vehicles, and even inside old bowling balls.

If you have mesothelioma, this means you were exposed at some point to asbestos. We can help you figure out when and how, plus which company is responsible for your cancer. Email our legal advocate, Karen Ritter, at karen@mesotheliomaguide.com to get answers right away.

    Sources & Author

Devin Goldan image

About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.

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