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Asbestos and Lung Cancer: The Basics

Asbestos is not a single substance. Instead, it is a group of naturally occurring minerals that can exist as tiny fiber bundles. Asbestos can be found across the world in rocks and in soil. Asbestos composition is simple as silicon and oxygen are asbestos’ main components. Other elements can also be included, however.


Early discoverers coveted asbestos for the following properties:

  • Strength
  • Fire resistance
  • Heat resistance

Asbestos also does not conduct electricity.

Therefore, asbestos has been used as insulation and as insulating material in naval ships, homes, schools, and factories. Asbestos is presumed to exist in any building that was constructed before 1980.

Automobile part manufacturers relied on asbestos in clutch assemblies and in brake pads. Home builders loved asbestos siding as it was a great insulator, did not need frequent painting, and lasted for many years. The following home building materials often contained asbestos:

  • Shingles for roofs
  • Floor tiles
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Concrete

Many home products also contained asbestos. Oven mitts and ironing board covers were commonly fabricated using asbestos fibers. A type of fake snow was made with asbestos fibers, was named “Pure White” and was touted as fireproof. (Fake snow used to be made with cotton fibers but firefighters felt that the cotton fibers would be a serious fire hazard.) Pure White was manufactured by the National Tinsel Manufacturing Company. Another fake snow brand was called “Snow Drift.” Note that the asbestos fibers in the fake snow were not encased in any protective coatings.

Exposure Risks

To cause trouble, asbestos needs to be inhaled or ingested. People commonly inhale asbestos fibers during mining, installation of asbestos-containing products, or while installing insulation. Naval ship workers were exposed to asbestos fibers when they were ordered to clean machine parts that were insulated with asbestos. The act of cleaning would scrape asbestos insulation and release the dangerous fibers into the air.

Asbestos exposure can also occur when someone drinks or eats a contaminated liquid. Asbestos contamination could occur when water flows through cement pipes that contain asbestos. Or, someone could cough up an inhaled particle and subsequently ingest it.

Building Demolition

Building renovation and demolition can cause previously encased asbestos fibers to circulate in breathable air. Any demolition or renovation of a building suspected to be contaminated with asbestos needs careful supervision.

Low-Level Exposure

Since asbestos is a naturally occurring substance, people can be exposed to low levels of asbestos fibers where rocks have decomposed over a lengthy time period. People who worked in asbestos industries like insulation, auto parts, and on naval ships are more prone to greater exposure risks.

Disease Risk

Asbestos exposure can cause:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis
  • Mesothelioma
  • Larynx cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
Have You Been Exposed? Get Help Today

If you have been exposed to asbestos and you have developed mesothelioma, you can be compensated. Navigating a complex asbestos lawsuit can be very challenging, and you need to consult with an experienced attorney about your issue.

If you think you have an asbestos claim, contact a qualified Mesothelioma Attorney at the Throneberry Law Group. The Throneberry Law Group provides aggressive and compassionate support and representation for asbestos cancer victims. Call an experienced Throneberry Law Group attorney today at 888-506-1131, or visit them online for 24/7 assistance.

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During one of my family's darkest and trying times, Michael Throneberry was there to provide help. His personal experience with mesothelioma made certain that he advised us like family. Thank you, you are wonderful. Do yourself a favor and let him help you during this trying time. He is a true 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. T.S.
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