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What is Asbestos?


Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that occurs naturally. It was used for industrial purposes in Ohio and around the nation for decades, as it has properties that make it valuable for insulation and fireproofing. However, it has been discovered to have extremely harmful effects on the human body, especially the lungs.

Asbestos is found in several varieties that are categorized according to color. The most commonly used types are white and blue asbestos. The mineral is found in long, fibrous strands that have high tensile strength and extremely low chemical reactivity. It is an excellent soundproofing material and has fire resistant properties. Asbestos has many industrial applications, from construction to electronics, and it can be found in many consumer products. However, exposure to the mineral has been demonstrated to be harmful.

Asbestos causes cancer. It is most dangerous when inhaled into the lungs. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 100,000 people die every year because of their exposure to asbestos in the workplace. There are approximately 125 million people in the world who encounter asbestos in their place of employment, and the effects of their exposure may linger for years.

People who have been hurt on the job have a right to workers' compensation benefits. They should be able to expect financial assistance to help with any long-term illnesses or medical conditions that came from their occupation. If they have been permanently disabled because of exposure to toxic materials in the workplace, then workers' compensation benefits may be available to provide compensation for medical expenses and a percentage of lost past and future wages.

Source: WHO, "Asbestos: elimination of asbestos-related diseases", December 08, 2014