What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos refers to a group of six types of naturally occurring minerals.

Asbestos minerals are made up of fine, durable fibers and are resistant to

heat, fire and many chemicals. Once called the “miracle mineral” for such

properties, asbestos was used in a slew of everyday products, from building materials to fireproof protective gear. It is now widely known that exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a fatal cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, as well as other cancers and lung-related illnesses. All six types of asbestos minerals have common characteristics. All forms of the mineral are odorless and tasteless. When asbestos is present in a material or product, it cannot be detected by a visual examination and must be tested in a UKAS laboratory. These properties often make it difficult to determine specific risks of asbestos exposure. However, any exposure to the group of minerals can lead to pleural mesothelioma and other diseases such as lung cancer or asbestosis.

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