Asbestos is only a hazard when in its raw form or when an asbestos containing material is damaged. Once the asbestos fibres become friable or are released into the air they are easily inhaled and ingested. The microscopic fibres are easily able to make their way down the windpipe and into different areas of the lungs. The rigid nature of the fibres and their resistance to chemicals means that the body is unable to break them down over time. The adverse effects of asbestos are linked to the amount of exposure and the length of time the person was exposed. Jobs related to the mining and manufacturing of asbestos and its products are the leading causes of asbestos related diseases.
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