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Hazards of Asbestos Exposure

May Result in Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, Mesothelioma, and Pleural Plaques

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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 wasn’t 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.

The dangers and history of asbestos exposure; infographic courtesy Paul Simms

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