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When people think of asbestos, they think of the hazards associated with this substance.  Rightfully so, much publicity has been made about the dangers associated with asbestos – such as asbestos poisoning which can lead to asbestosis – the scarring of the lung tissue, lung cancer, and mesothelioma – a rare cancer of the outer membrane lining the outside of the lung, heart, and abdominal cavity.    

"Asbestos" is name given to a group of naturally occurring metamorphic minerals that are distinguished by their crystalline structures.  Asbestos forms fine, fibrous crystals, and these crystals are composed of magnesium silicate.  Asbestos exhibits many properties that are highly advantageous in many industrial and commercial applications.  Such favorable properties of asbestos include their high tensile strength and durability, flexibility and malleability, thermal and chemical resistance, and low electrical conductivity.     

There are three types of asbestos most commonly used.  Chrysolite (white asbestos) is the asbestos that is mostly used.  It is used the most because the crystals formed are curled fibers (Serpentine), making it less friable than the other asbestos types.  Crocidolite (blue asbestos) and amosite (brown asbestos) are also used, but only in specialized applications because their crystals are needle like (Amphibole), making it more friable.  Friable is a term meaning "easily broken into small fragments or reduced to powder". 

There has been an estimated 3,000 products made containing asbestos.  Asbestos can be found in

vinyl flooring, patching compounds and textured paints, sprayed acoustic ceilings, acoustic ceiling tiles, stove insulation, furnace insulation, pipe insulation, wall and ceiling insulation, roofing shingles and siding as well as home appliances.

Asbestos is dangerous because it can be easily disturbed.  Asbestos is extremely friable when it is disturbed.  When disturbed, asbestos will break up into microscopic particles, which can remain airborne for a prolonged period of time.  The health-related danger of asbestos ensues when these particles are inhaled.  When inhaled, these particles can penetrate the tissues of the lungs.  This will stimulate fibrosis, the scarring process.  These scars reduce the functioning capacity of the lungs, which manifests itself in shortness of breath and a persistent cough.  This disease is called asbestosis.  Additionally, asbestos is a carcinogen, meaning that it can induce cancers.  People who have been exposed to asbestos are at a higher risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer directly attributed to asbestos poisoning.

If you're looking to learn more about asbestos – what is asbestos, history of asbestos, asbestos-related diseases, asbestos regulations, asbestos legal action, asbestos removal, and much more, then you have come to the right site.  Whether you're just generally interested in asbestos or if you have been exposed to asbestos and want to understand the dangers about it, Ringsurf has provided comprehensive information for your access!