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In the environment, asbestos occurs naturally as bundles of fibers. These fibers were used in numerous industries, despite the fact that they cause inflammation, altered breathing and major health problems. Asbestos causes a form of lung cancer called Mesothelioma. It primarily exist in the lungs and causes coughing, shortness of breath and lung damage.
Only those who are exposed to asbestos in great quantities will develop serious health problems. Drywall removers, construction contractors, firefighters and automobile mechanics are often exposed to asbestos in their jobs. Research has shown a high majority of deaths occur from this because of work duties that deal with working around asbestos.
Take for instance the rescue and cleanup teams of the World Trade Center. Asbestos was used in large amounts for the construction of the buildings. When the planes struck the towers, not only did the buildings come down but so did tons of asbestos into the immediate atmosphere. Seventy percent of the rescue team developed symptoms of asbestos exposure after the cleanup efforts.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|