Asbestos is a generic name given to a fibrous variety of six naturally occurring minerals that have been used for decades in thousands of commercial products. These minerals have been used in many products, including insulation and fireproofing materials, automotive brakes and textile products, and cement and wallboard materials.
The asbestos minerals have a tendency to separate into microscopic-size particles that can remain in the air and are easily inhaled. Although the use of asbestos and asbestos products has dramatically decreased, they are still found in many residential and commercial settings and continue to pose a health risk to workers and others. Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of: lung cancer; mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity; and asbestosis, in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.
Where Can I Find Asbestos And When Can It Be A Problem?
Most products made today do not contain asbestos. Those few products made which still contain asbestos that could be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. However, until the 1970s, many types of building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos.
Examples of Where Asbestos Hazards May Be Found In The Home