Where does asbestos come from?

We’ve all heard that asbestos is harmful, bad, and shouldn’t be used in homes. But, do you know where it actually comes from? Most people are surprised to learn that asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used in various products for centuries. It was once considered “the miracle mineral” because of its durability and resistance to heat, fire, and chemicals. However, we now know that exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems, including lung cancer.

Where does asbestos come from?

Asbestos is found in many different places in the world, is mined from the ground and can be found in rocks, soil, and water. In its raw form, asbestos looks like soft, white material and is one of six types of naturally occurring fibrous minerals around the world that are collectively known as asbestos.

The minerals are mainly composed of silicon and oxygen, as well as some other minor elements. The fibres that people commonly associate with asbestos are still found when these raw minerals, though are so tiny they can only be seen under a microscope.

In fact, all asbestos minerals are made from these same long and thin fibres, which when disturbed, become airborne and are the reason asbestos becomes so dangerous. Airbourne asbestos fibres are a very serious health concern when they are inhaled, causing lung cancer, asbestosis, asbestos poisoning, mesothelioma and a range of other related diseases.

The history of asbestos

Asbestos has actually been around for a very long time after archaeologists uncovered asbestos fibres in debris which dates back to the stone age, over a million years ago. It is also believed that as early as 4000BC, asbestos was used for wicks in lamps and candles. Asbestos has been used many times in history, such as between 2000 & 3000 B.C, the bodies of Egyptian pharaohs were wrapped in an asbestos cloth to protect the bodies from deterioration.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that asbestos really started to be used extensively in commercial products, particularly in construction and shipbuilding, and despite the popular use of asbestos throughout history, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the use of asbestos exploded as more and more products were made containing the mineral. It was used in everything from insulation to brake pads and was even added to cement and plaster. Asbestos became so popular because it was strong, durable, fire-resistant, and relatively inexpensive.

Unfortunately, we now know that asbestos is also extremely dangerous to human health, and exposure to asbestos can lead to a number of serious diseases, including lung cancer.

The use of asbestos

While asbestos is no longer used in many products, it can still be found in older homes and buildings. If you think you may have asbestos in your home, you should first learn what asbestos looks like, it’s important to have it tested by a professional. If you do have asbestos, don’t try to remove it yourself – always hire a professional who is trained and certified in asbestos removal.

Asbestos was once considered a “miracle mineral” because of its durability and resistance to heat, fire, and chemicals. However,

People can be exposed to asbestos in a variety of ways. Some people work in jobs where they are around asbestos on a regular basis, such as construction workers, miners, and factory workers. Others may be exposed to asbestos indirectly, such as when they live in close proximity to an asbestos mine or mill.

Conclusion

Asbestos is a mineral that was once considered a “miracle” because of its durability and resistance to heat, fire, and chemicals. However, we now know that exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems, including lung cancer. Asbestos can be found in many different places in the world and is mined from the ground. It can also be found in older buildings and homes. If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos, it’s important to see a doctor and get tested. If you do have asbestos in your home, don’t try to remove it yourself – always hire a professional who is trained and certified in asbestos removal.

Published Jul 28, 2022

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