Asbestos in your home - and your health

Asbestos - In Your Home

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Asbestos is the name we use to describe a group of natural mineral fibers that are known for their strength and fire-resistant properties. Asbestos has been used in thermal insulation and fire proofing for the construction industry, and in brake and clutch linings for the automotive industry. Although asbestos fibers come in blue, brown, and green colors, most asbestos used in the United States is white asbestos, and is called chrysotile.

Some asbestos fibers are so small that a microscope is necessary to see them. These small fibers can be floating in the air, and we can breath them deeply into our lungs, where they can become lodged. Inhaling asbestos fibers increases the chances of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the body cavities), and asbestos, which cause shortness of breath and coughing.

In sum, asbestos is a group of mineral fibers that can be dangerous to human health when microscopic fibers are inhaled into the deep recesses of the lungs.

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This page was updated on 16-Jul-2019