Asbestos refers to the group of minerals classified as having microscopic fibers that can separate and, when inhaled, invade the body’s organs with toxic effects.
The six different minerals are1:
Learn about the history of asbestos.
Asbestos occurs naturally, but is also mined and manufactured as a component of other industrial products, including insulation, brake linings and construction/building materials. Some of the people most at risk for asbestos exposure include:
According to the National Cancer Institute, 70 to 80 percent of all cases of mesothelioma reported asbestos-exposure work histories.
According to an OSHA fact sheet, there are three standards that protect workers from exposure to asbestos:
Because asbestos exposure can increase the risk for diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer, many groups have called for greater regulation or total bans of asbestos. Learn more about the efforts to ban asbestos.
Via the National Cancer Institute:
See related asbestos topics: