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Asbestos Exposure

Although asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber, exposure to it can be deadly.  The minerals possess several qualities that made them attractive to builders and manufacturers during the last century.  They absorb sound, making them effective noise insulators.  They are also resistant to fire, heat, and electrical damage.  Because of these characteristics, asbestos were commonly used in building materials, automobile friction parts, and heat-resistant fabrics and packaging.

Unfortunately, materials containing asbestos release tiny fibers when damaged or disturbed.  This can happen when a building or material is repaired, remodeled, or demolished.  When the fibers become airborne, they are easily inhaled.  This inhalation can then cause serious health problems, including malignant lung cancer and mesothelioma.   The risk is especially high for people who smoke.

The Environmental  Protection Agency and Consumer Product Safety Commission have banned several products made with asbestos.  Furthermore, most modern products are made without asbestos.  However, asbestos is still commonly found in older homes and products.  Asbestos may be found in:

These materials, when damaged, disturbed, or worn, can release extremely harmful fibers into the air.