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Asbestos: Facts and Everything You Need To Know About The Naturally Occurring Mineral

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Asbestos: Facts and Everything You Need To Know About The Naturally Occurring Mineral

Asbestos Definition And Meaning

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral which are of six types, all of which are composed of long and thin fibrous crystals, each fiber being composed of many microscopic “fibrils” that can be released into the atmosphere by abrasion and other processes. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to various dangerous lung conditions, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, so it is now notorious as a serious health and safety hazard.

Asbestos was used in thousands of U.S. consumer products before the dangers/consequences of asbestos were acknowledged. Asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer and other cancers. Asbestos is being controlled in the U.S., but not stopped or put an end into.

Asbestos can also be defined as a group of six naturally occurring silicate minerals made up of thin, microscopic fibers. Asbestos gives heat and chemical resistance, fireproofing and strength. With the outcome of this, Asbestos was a common additives to different kinds of products and makes minerals useful. Human beings who are in physical contacts with Asbestos frequently are liable to face health issues (which could be cancer and other diseases).

Sometimes ago, Asbestos was popular in construction as a productive insulator and it can be mixed with cement, plastic, clothe, paper and other materials to make them better and of more standard. There is an implication to it in such a way that if asbestos dust is inhaled or sniffed, the fibers can become constant and eternally trapped in the body. For decades now, trapped asbestos fibers can cause inflammation, scarring and eventually genetic damage.

As stated above, exposure to asbestos can cause cancer and other health conditions. A rare and aggressive cancer called mesothelioma is essentially triggered by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos can also cause a progressive lung disease called asbestosis. What makes asbestos not totally safe and dangerous is the carcinogenic qualities of the mineral.

Facts And Everything You Need To Know About Asbestos

Facts About Asbestos:

Do you know that in the world we live in today, there are more than 39,000 American lives are lost to asbestos-related disease every year.

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Series of research has shown that frequent physical contact (exposure) to Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, leads to cancer and other serious health issues (diseases). Having knowledge on Asbestos can make you understand the health dangers and reason it is so essential to keep away from the exposure of Asbestos.

Asbestos was a central role in American commercial product manufacturing throughout the 20th century. It was used in thousands of products before regulations were implemented in the 1970s.

Americans who worked in construction, manufacturing and other blue-collar industries were most at risk of asbestos exposure. Research shows approximately 20 percent of asbestos workers develop a related disease later in life.

Facts About Exposure Of Asbestos:

  • Asbestos has been prohibited in more than 60 countries, but not in the U.S.
  • Asbestos exposure is the Number 1 cause of work-related deaths in the world.
  • Approximately 90,000 people death are being recorded from asbestos-related diseases globally each year.
  • An estimated 125 million people worldwide remain at risk of occupational exposure to asbestos.
  • About 1.3 million U.S. workers in construction and general industry are at risk of exposure today.

Who are at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

People who are employed in a place of work that deals with Asbestos products are the most at risk of exposure. The following professions below are the greatest risk of Asbestos exposure:

  • Miners
  • Millers
  • Insulators
  • Boilermakers
  • Auto mechanics
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Firefighters
  • Construction workers
  • Industrial workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Power plant workers

Anyone who live with an asbestos worker are probably at risk of secondary exposure.

Secondary Exposure: This is the kind of exposure that happen to many household members of Asbestos workers. A good example is “washing the worker’s clothing” which is a particularly common source of secondary exposure.

Diseases Caused by Asbestos Exposure

Countless scientific studies have proven that exposure to asbestos causes cancerous and noncancerous diseases which are listed below:


The following below are examples of noncancerous conditions:

  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pleural effusions
  • Pleuritis
  • Diffuse pleural thickening
  • Atelectasis

Studies on Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos exposure studies show a great extent about the effect of health on Asbestos involving whoever might be at risk of also growing or showing signs of Asbestos-related disease. These studies of exposure concentrate on certain types of Asbestos work. They reveal how much exposure turns into cases of disease among the workers.

For example, insulators are among the most studied population of asbestos workers because exposure levels were high in this field of work. Studying asbestos insulators gives us more information on what can occur when a person is exposed to high levels of asbestos for years.

  • A 1990 study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences reported on insulation workers with 20 years of experience. More than 80 percent developed asbestosis and 40 percent died of asbestos-related diseases.

Some exposure studies have evaluated the risk of disease among people who live in a contaminated area. For example, studies have been carried out in Libby, Montana. This town is home to an asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine that was closed in 1990.

  • A 2013 study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found 18 to 20 percent of adult residents in Libby have asbestos-related disease.

Types of Asbestos

Asbestos refers to six fibrous minerals that occur naturally throughout the world which as as follows:

  • Chrysotile
  • Tremolite
  • Crocidolite
  • Amosite
  • Actinolite
  • Anthophyllite

The most popular and common used type of asbestos is chrysotile. It accounts for approximately 95 percent of asbestos used around the world.

Asbestos fibers are naturally resistant to heat, fire, electricity and chemicals. These properties made it an ideal additive in products to prevent fire and chemical corrosion.

Asbestos Information To Consider

Knowing more about Asbestos information gives a real picture about the catastrophic contribution of Asbestos exposure and its likely diseases.

While there has been a minimization in asbestos production throughout the world, certain countries — including the U.S. — have significantly maximized the importation of asbestos. Asbestos lobbying organizations play a major role in keeping asbestos trade alive.

  • Global asbestos production dropped from 2.1 million tons in 2012 to 1.4 million tons in 2015.
  • Asbestos imports have fluctuated, but there is an upward trend in recent years. In 2020, the U.S. imported nearly double the amount of asbestos that was imported in 2019. In 2018, the U.S. chemical industry quadrupled its importation of asbestos compared to the year before.
  • A 2018 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reported that for every 20 tons of asbestos produced and consumed a person dies of an asbestos-related disease somewhere in the world.
  • More than 2 million tons of asbestos is currently consumed each year throughout the world.
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Information On Asbestos-Related Disease

Information on asbestos-related diseases reveal an outbreak of tragic proportions. Thousands of Americans are diagnosed with asbestos-related conditions each year. Hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed with these conditions around the globe.

  • Around 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year.
  • Asbestos exposure causes at least 90 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
  • From 1999-2010, approximately 6,300 Americans lost their lives to asbestosis.

Information on Asbestos-Related Death

Form all the conditions listed above, asbestos-related lung cancer claims the most lives, followed by mesothelioma.

  • A study published in 2017 claimed the annual global death rate caused by asbestos exposure is around 237,000.
  • A 2018 study reported asbestos-related diseases killed 39,275 people in the U.S. and 222,321 people throughout the world in 2016.
Lung Cancer 34,270 181,450
Mesothelioma 3,161 27,600
Ovarian Cancer 787 6,022
Laryngeal Cancer 443 3,743
Asbestosis 613 3,495

In spite of these awful information, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported in June 2018 that it would consider new uses of asbestos with a specific review process. Organizations around the world, such as the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat, continue to advocate for a worldwide ban to protect future generations from asbestos-related diseases.




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