Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring silicate minerals held together by strands of fibers. When separated, the fibers are strong and flexible enough to be woven. It was often used in industrial settings because of its ability to resist heat, capacity to insulate, and flexibility to be woven.
In spite of the known dangers, industrial use of asbestos peaked in the 1900’s, particularly in large industrial settings.
The two primary types of asbestos are amphibole and serpentine:
- Types of amphibole include: amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite
- Chrysotile – most asbestos used in this country was this type.
Asbestos is Dangerous
When asbestos is disturbed, the fibers can become airborne, and can be easily inhaled and ingested. All types of asbestos have been proven to cause all asbestos related diseases, including mesothelioma.
Exposure to asbestos does not mean you will automatically become ill. However, studies have shown that all exposures to asbestos increase your chances of contracting some variety of asbestos cancer. Some people contracted asbestos diseases even after brief exposure.
It is important to let your doctor know if you have been exposed to asbestos. An early diagnosis is vital to receiving the appropriate mesothelioma treatment.