In its natural state asbestos is composed of six naturally occurring silicate minerals; in other words, very much like a rock. Although some claim that it has been mined for up to 4,000 years, it has really only been a heavily-used commercial product since the final days of the 19th century.
Uses of Asbestos
A sample of asbestos fiber with muscovite; image courtesy Aramgutang
It seemed to be the miracle mineral; it is resistant to heat, chemical damage, and abrasion.
Because of this it was widely used in asbestos floor tiles, commercial insulation, electrical insulation for hotplate wiring, as a cement amendment, and even woven into the suits race car drivers wore.
Unfortunately it wasnt until years later that the dangers began to reveal themselves. Today an entire industry has evolved around asbestos abatement where specially trained workers remove, double-bag, and dispose of the material.
To learn more, please refer to the infographic below which outlines the history and the hazards of asbestos exposure.
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About the Author:
Kelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.