FAQ - What Is Asbestos?It is pretty amazing that we learn new things about our world at the rate we do. Even back during World War II, asbestos was thought of a wonderful material to build with, and to actively add to buildings that were being constructed. Only a few decades later, we realized how deadly this stuff was.
Asbestos is a cool type of mineral that can create very strong, fine threads. The components of asbestos are:
These are all minerals that you've probably never heard of. But even the Greeks and Romans knew just how useful this stuff was in resisting fire and building. Modern researchers found new ways in which to use them. Because of their strength, asbestos was used in all sorts of commercial applications - insulation, roofs, floors, etc. It was waterproof, strong, and able to support weight. Of course, it had this minor side effect of killing off humans, but we didn't realize that until much later.
We first realized there was an issue when the factories that created asbestos products started having very high incidences of cancer amongst their workers. Once this was known, it did not take long to trace the link back to what was causing the problem.
While in the US we have scaled back GREATLY since the 1970s because of the harmful effects on humans, other developing countries aren't as careful. So not only do workers in other countries still work in buildings full of asbestos - you could in fact import something from another country that HAS asbestos in it without realizing it. It is always critical to know where your supplies come from and what they are made of.
In the US in modern times, asbestos removal is a HUGE industry. It can cost thousands of dollars to safely remove all asbestos from an environment. It's well worth it, though. You only have one life, and one body.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor - please always talk to a doctor if you are not feeling well or have medical questions!
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