Asbestos Facts

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral that is mined from the earth. Asbestos has been used for a long time, but more prevalently in the United States starting in the late 1800s. Asbestos can be found in products that were located in powerhouses, boiler rooms, commercial and industrial buildings, Navy ships, construction sites and even residential homes.

What products contain asbestos?

There are thousands of known products that contain asbestos:

  • Automotive products like brake linings, brake pads and clutch pads
  • Ceiling products like plaster, panels tiles and mastic
  • Gaskets, packing and sealing products
  • Cement products used with bricks, boilers, insulation, pipes, shingles and more
  • Electrical products like wire, panels and breakers
  • Insulation products like block, blankets and fireproofing used on boilers, pipes, cooling towers, furnaces, tanks and more
  • Flooring products
  • Elevator brakes
  • Paints and coatings
  • Roofing products like felt, shingles and tar
  • Wall products like plaster, caulk, covering, wallboards, joint compounds and sheet rock
  • Firefighter equipment including helmets, coats, pants and boots
  • Even things you would never imagine like puzzles, cigarettes, paper and more

How can one be exposed to asbestos?

Exposure to asbestos results from someone working with or around asbestos containing products. The work creates dust. Exposure occurs from breathing in or inhaling the asbestos fibers contained in the dust. Exposure can also occur when the dust remains on clothing and the clothing is laundered.

What’s the risk of being exposed to asbestos?

The risk of exposure to asbestos is dependent on a number of factors including the amount of asbestos one is exposed to, the length of time one is exposed to asbestos and the individuals susceptibility to developing an asbestos related disease.

How long can it take to develop an asbestos related disease after being exposed?

The length of time from when one is first exposed to asbestos to when he or she develops an asbestos related disease is called the latency period. This period of time can range from ten to even fifty years from the date of first exposure to when the disease presents itself.

Next Steps


If you've been exposed to asbestos in any way, it's important for you to seek help immediately.
More info about treatment.

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