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What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil.
Where Can I Find Asbestos?
Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance asbestos has been used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant. Asbestos has also been used in a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products (automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.
Where asbestos may be found:
Attic and wall insulation produced containing vermiculite
Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
Roofing and siding shingles
Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulationHeat-resistant fabrics
Automobile clutches and brakes
How Can People Be Exposed to Asbestos?
Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air.
Health Effects From Exposure to Asbestos
Exposure to asbestos increases your risk of developing lung disease. That risk is made worse by smoking. In general, the greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the chance of developing harmful health effects. Disease symptoms may take many years to develop following exposure.
Three of the major health effects associated with asbestos exposure are:
mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the abdomen and heart
asbestosis, a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs
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