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Survey Safe is an independent consulting firm

offering comprehensive asbestos surveying

solutions to domestic and industrial clients.

You can be assured that you will be offered

the best possible advice at competitive rates.

Asbestos filters used in cigarettes

Smoking: The way it used to be!

It is probably quite safe to assume that the vast majority of people today would acknowledge the fact that cigarettes are bad for your health. Owing to the rise in cases of attempted litigation due to alleged 'passive smoking', the Government introduced a ban on smoking in enclosed areas such as restaurants, pubs and public transport.

In fact, a lot of people feel that smoking is a disgusting, dangerous and anti social habit that has no place in modern society. However, this was not always the case. The older generation would remember the days when to be a smoker was definately the done thing, it made you look cool, suave and sophisticated and helped you get the women or man of your dreams. All the major film stars, both male and female smoked and the rugged looking 'sun kissed' cowboy from a certain tobacco advertisement made every adventurous male want to be just like him.

Adverse health concerns bring about a change in peoples attitudes

It wasn't long however before the tide began to turn on the tobacco industry as more and more smokers began to suffer from smoking related respiratory ailments or cancers. Something had to be done to stem the criticism of cigarettes and in the late 1940's, manufacturers began to experiment with methods of reducing the amount of tar and other pollutants from entering their customers lungs.

In about 1952 the vast majority of brands of cigarettes did not have any filters. After a series of articles in a well known publication, which were entitled 'Cancer by the carton', the cigarette manufacturers started to look for a way to reassure their customers, both existing and potential, and to increase their sales.

The introduction of the blue asbestos cigarette filter

Although many brands introduced the new filters to their cigarettes and publicised these as an innovative safety enhancement, only one company went that bit further and introduced what they called the 'micronite filter'. But the new filter had a hidden killer all it's own!

In the early 1950's the dangers of asbestos were not very well publicised and asbestos was still generally seen as a natural wonder and a source of new and improved technology. The cigarette company in question decided that the introduction of blue asbestos, otherwise known as Crocidolite into their cigarette filters would enhance their protective ability and help to protect their customers from the dangers of smoking whilst at the same time improving the companies sales and profits.

These micronite cigarettes became very popular and a massive marketing campaign was launched, this saw magazines, posters, newspapers and movie theatres providing a stage for the companies advertisements .

With claims like 'takes out up to seven times more nicotine and tars, leaves in full, rich flavour' literally millions of micronite cigarettes were sold from 1952 to 1956.

Studies conducted into the blue asbestos cigarette filters

After some negative publicity the makers of the micronite cigarettes commissioned two separate studies that used electron microscopy to show that no blue asbestos (Crocidolite) fibres were entering their customers lungs. Unfortunately for the cigarette company, the studies revealed quite the opposite.

The studies proved that the first two inhalations through the micronite filter released 3.4 million blue asbestos structures or clumps of fibre. The studies concluded that a smoker who consumed one pack of the micronite cigarettes per day for a period of twelve months would inhale approximately 1.242 billion such structures. These cigarettes with their so called 'revolutionary blue asbestos micronite filters' were discontinued in 1956.

Still a long way to go before asbestos and the misery it causes is gone

Their have been many other applications of asbestos over the years, all claiming to be of great benefit to the end user or consumer, but have nearly always resulted in illness, misery and ultimately death.

Their have been very welcome legislative advances in the control of asbestos over recent years but there is still a long way to go. Until such a time that there is no asbestos present in building structures or any other products, Survey Safe™ will keep doing our level best to raise awareness of asbestos and help our clients to rid their premises of this silent killer

Further Information

If you would like to know more or are interested in a quote we would be happy to help. Phone us on 07730 446 224, email us at info@survey-safe.com or fill in our enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

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Survey Safe® :: 07730 446 224

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07730 446 224