Asbestos is created from combining six silicon based minerals, which occur naturally. These are combined in order to exploit the most valuable characteristics of each. Asbestos is created from a number of thin, fibrous, heat resistant crystals, which are also have immense strength and flexibility and are resistant to heat.

The resulting material, asbestos, is hazardous as inhalation of the fibres can cause serious health issues, including Asbestosis, lung cancer and Mesothelioma, conditions which usually develop between twenty and fifty years after an individual has been exposed.

Those who come into contact with asbestos fibre because of their job are most at risk from asbestos related diseases, and the second most common group at risk are those who live with workers who are exposed to asbestos in their job, and experts suggest around 80% of those suffering from asbestos related illnesses have developed them as a direct result of occupational or para-occupational exposure.

The final group, who are at risk, are high risk because of geography. Those whose homes are near sites such as refineries, power plants, factories, building sites and shipyards which are often likely to have asbestos within the facility, are at risk of developing asbestos related diseases. This is because of the release of asbestos fibres which then spread and contaminate the surrounding air.

It goes without saying that one of the highest risk industries is asbestos product manufacturing, but industries which are high risk include automotive repair, due to the use of asbestos in brakes and clutches, oil refineries, construction, railroads, steel mills, shipyards and power plants.

This is not a definitive guide to all those who are likely to contract an asbestos related disease, but if you or a loved one have worked in any of these industries in the past, or lived in any of the areas mentioned then it is highly recommended that you are tested for mesothelioma and the other asbestos related illnesses.

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