It might come as a surprise to learn that asbestos fibers have been worked into over 3,000 products over the years. Asbestos, which is known to be strong, durable, and heat resistant, was once viewed as a "miracle mineral" within our earth. It was combined with other materials for use in industrial, maritime, automotive, scientific, and construction products.
There are thousands of different products that have been made with asbestos, but we will take a closer look at three of them today:
Textile and Cloth Products
Asbestos fibers were often woven into textile and cloth products, including blankets, protective cloth coverings, garments, asbestos gloves, threads, cords, yarns, and braids. Common asbestos cloth products which could be found in residential homes were oven mitts and stove mats.
Because asbestos is resistant to heat, the substance was used within automotive and railroad brakes and clutches. These parts were made with a high percentage of asbestos and would often wear down over time. Mechanics were often exposed to asbestos fibers when working with these products. Although newer vehicles are no longer made with asbestos, it is still present in many older cars.
Laboratory Hoods and Table Tops
Because of the heat involved in scientific experiments, asbestos was used in the hoods and table tops within laboratories. This was not only in professional settings, but schools as well. While the products did not pose harm to scientists or students if in tact, once they broke down or if they were damaged, asbestos fibers could be released into the air.
Asbestos exposure from any of these products can ultimately lead to mesothelioma. There are many other products that asbestos has been worked into. Feel free to name a few within a comment below!