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In its natural state, asbestos is a soft rock consisting of compressed fibers. Because of its fire-resistant qualities, it has had thousands of uses in home and industry over the years. Almost 30 million tons of the material have been used in the United states for insulation since 1900.

I remember being impressed as a child with that amazing kind of cloth that doesn’t burn. But even though it has served a beneficial purpose, recent findings show it to be a severe health hazard. According to a Harvard Medical School report, more than 500,000 Americans will die from exposure to the air-borne particles of asbestos. It stated that just because there doesn’t appear to be an immediate problem, the public must not be fooled. Asbestos disease becomes a medical problem when it’s too late to cure it. The symptoms may not show up for 30 years or more.

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