100 years ago asbestos became known as a magic mineral and the use of millions of tons of asbestos created a very profitable industry. And for almost as long, the industry has known that asbestos is extremely dangerous to people. The human health effects from long-term unsafe asbestos exposure are well documented. Asbestos fibers are easily inhaled and carried into the lower regions of the lung where they can cause fibrotic lung disease (asbestosis) and changes in the lining of the chest cavity (pleura). These diseases can lead to reduced respiratory function and death. Long-term inhalation of asbestos fibers also increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma.
The Beautiful Magic of Asbestos