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Although asbestos exposure has been linked to the development of mesothelioma, asbestos is not always an immediate hazard. In fact, if asbestos can be maintained in good condition, it is recommended that it be left along and periodic surveillance performed to monitor its condition. It is only when materials containing asbestos are distured or damaged that it becomes a hazard. When asbestos containing material is damaged, the fibers separate and may become airborne. Asbestos materials that are too hard or strong to be reduced to dust by hand pressure is not regulated, so long as they are not subjected to machine grinding, sanding, or other processes that can release asbestos fibers.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|