What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the name commonly used to describe several naturally occurring minerals. These Minerals produce extremely thin threads of fibers which can break off and easily be inhaled. The main reason asbestos has been used by industries is due to its heat resistant property as well as its cohesiveness. Many industries find asbestos beneficial since it acts as a fire retardant and can easily be used to bond with other substances. Obviously the danger with the use of asbestos relates to the thin fibers which can break away and easily be inhaled by workers or others around the asbestos products.
Interestingly, asbestos has actually been used for centuries. The ancient Greeks mined asbestos and recognized associated lung disease and difficulty breathing among the mine workers. However, the full danger of asbestos was not known until the early Twentieth Century. It was not until the 1970’s that the United States government began to ban its use in products. However many offshore drilling companies continued to use asbestos until the late 1980’s exposing thousands of workers to unnecessary health problems and illness.