You might be surprised to see us writing about something other than Lead Poisoning today, but it is almost Halloween so it’s time to shift gears to another dangerous substance that we can be exposed to in our environment: asbestos.

Of course you would not wear asbestos or let a child wear it–you know better! But there have been some interesting costume uses for asbestos in the past, worn by both real-life and fictional characters!

In 1947, Marvel Comics introduced a new villain to combat the Human Torch–Asbestos Lady! Her alter-ego, Victoria Murdock, is pictured above. “With every intention of doing battle with the Torch, she designed for herself a costume made from asbestos, which essentially made her immune to fire while wearing it.”

Here she is in costume:

Asbestos Lady eventually died from ideopathic mesothelioma and we are not surprised. RIP, Asbestos Lady!

In 1963, Marvel challenged the Human Torch once again with Asbestos Man, who wore an asbestos suit and carried an asbestos shield:

Asbestos Man was really Professor Orson Kasloff and he had some success defeating Johnny Storm at first, but Johnny eventually outsmarted him, of course. Professor Kasloff ended up in an iron lung with pulmonary carcinoma–that’s lung cancer. Again, no surprise! In real life,

this wasn’t even the wildest dancing going on at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, as that was the event where “hootchy-kootchy” dancing was introduced. I bet the Moth Dancers were disappointed, although they were probably just relieved not to be burned alive!

Today you won’t find any asbestos suits at the Halloween store, but people who shop for their costumes at Army-Navy surplus stores might encounter these:

These Russian G-5 gas masks have tested positive for asbestos, so we don’t recommend them for use on Halloween.

Remember, it only takes one exposure to asbestos to cause illness years or even decades later. Don’t take any chances!

We would love to see some pictures of your family’s non-deadly costumes so send them to our Facebook page!