The Damage Of Asbestos
Asbestos is a commercial name, not a mineralogical definition, given to a variety of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals. These minerals possess high tensile strength, flexibility, resistance to chemical and thermal degradation, and electrical resistance. These minerals have been used for decades in thousands of commercial products, such as insulation and fireproofing materials, automotive brakes and textile products, and cement and wallboard materials.
When handled, asbestos can separate into microscopic-size particles that remain in the air and are easily inhaled. Persons occupationally exposed to asbestos have developed several types of life-threatening diseases, including asbestos, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Although the use of asbestos and asbestos products has dramatically decreased in recent years, they are still found in many residential and commercial settings and continue to pose a health risk to workers and others.