Asbestos is one of the most harmful materials to the human lungs because, when breathed in, it can irritate the lungs and lead to deadly diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer also known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare, but very potent cancer that can take a life over a long period of time. It is not one of the more aggressive forms of cancer, but it is one of the most deadly. There is no known cure for mesothelioma and this type of lung cancer. Asbestos is the root cause of these health issues. Because of the asbestos fibers that can break off and get inhaled it must not be worked with except with extreme safety measures.
Asbestos has been used as one of the best insulation materials ever known. In World War II ships, for example, asbestos was used as an insulating material around the pipes in the ships. It is an incredibly versatile material. Asbestos is heat resistant and also is not very susceptible to damage from the elements or from chemical damage. Furthermore it was a good sound-absorbing material. An incredible amount of benefits, but one massive drawback–human deaths. Asbestos is harmful (deadly is a better word) to human lungs. If the fibers are exposed to the human lungs in moderate to high doses there will be an extremely likely result of cancer.
Asbestos is a mineral and actually one of about six to ten minerals in the world that are named as ‘asbestos.’ These minerals are mined from the ground and are able to be mined like any other mineral (coal, for example). It is a form of chrysotile, which when manufactured, creates a carcinogen which causes cancer in humans. It is a deadly mineral, not to the touch, but when inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. There have not been extensive tests on animals. There have been known cases of direct inhalation of asbestos and then an acceleration of lung cancer in the human body. Asbestos is not to be trifled with and should be avoided at all costs.
Asbestos is such a versatile material that it can be used in any manner of manufacturing process. Huge amounts have been produced in the countries around the world. Extensive use has taken place in the United States ever since the Industrial Revolution. Millions of building around the country have asbestos components.
Asbestos mining procedures have become somewhat safer of the last part of a century, but still, countless victims of asbestos exposure have already fallen. Now that the health dangers are known of the asbestos fibers there are some nations that have banned the mining of asbestos, but still others that rely on the mineral who are still mining actively.