Although asbestos fibers are microscopic in nature, they are extremely durable and resistant to fire and most chemical reactions and breakdowns. These properties of asbestos supported its use for many years in a number of different settings, as well as in a wide range of consumer products. Although its use has diminished in recent decades, there are still many products that contain asbestos, especially in older homes, schools, and public buildings.

Asbestos is perhaps best known for its role in causing , a rare and deadly cancer that can develop in linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart.

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Why Is Asbestos Hazardous?

Asbestos is made up of microscopic fibers that can easily become airborne and inhaled. Because of their shape, the asbestos particles cling to tissues of the lungs and other areas of the respiratory system.

Over time, these tiny fibers can cause inflammation, causing a number of health problems, the three biggest of which are  — This aggressive cancer forms in the thin membrane (mesothelium) that protects vital organs in the chest and abdomen. Exposure to asbestos is the only medically-verified cause of the disease.lung cancer-

  •  — Most commonly associated with factors like smoking and radon, lung cancer is also known to be exacerbated by exposure to asbestos.Abestosis
  •  — This degenerative respiratory condition results from the formation of scar tissue plaques on the surface of the pleura (lung linings). It can be a precursor to the onset of mesothelioma.
How Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma
How Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma

Millions of people have been exposed to asbestos due to its extensive use in domestic, commercial, and industrial products. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection agency, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.

Who Is at Risk of Exposure to Asbestos?

There were hundreds of . Asbestos was used in thousands of commercial products and industrial capacities and those working with the material in these industries are potentially at risk of harmful exposure. Industries in which asbestos use was particularly prevalent included shipbuilding , commercial product manufacturing, power plants, and construction. Workers employed in these industries prior to 1980 likely encountered asbestos products. vetran in all five branches of the military are also at high risk for asbestos exposure.

The following list of trades or occupations are extremely high risk for asbestos exposure. If you worked in any of these trades, you were likely exposed to asbestos throughout the duration of your career. Click on each occupation below to learn more about how exposure may have occurred:

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