Asbestos is one of the most infamous workplace safety hazards in modern history. For decades, asbestos was used in many consumer products and as insulation for buildings. Workers can breathe in asbestos fibers, where they become trapped in lung tissue. Asbestos exposure can lead to conditions like asbestosis or mesothelioma, the latter which may take decades to develop. Congress banned asbestos for some uses during the 1970s, in part, to prevent future cases of these conditio
Asbestos is a combination of six naturally occurring minerals. It is fibrous, thin, resistant to heat, fire and chemicals. These qualities make it ideal for insulation. However, the same qualities also make asbestos impossible to remove from the lungs. Workers exposed to asbestos may develop constant lung irritation. This irritation causes inflammation, which leads to asbestosis and cancer. Despite possible health risks, some products still use asbestos in limited quantities.