The World Health Organization estimates that over 107,000 people have died from asbestos related diseases.
Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of several serious diseases, including lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
When a product that contains asbestos is cut, sanded, sawed, or otherwise manipulated, microscopic asbestos fibers are released into the air. Because asbestos fibers are small, light, odorless, colorless and tasteless, they can stay in the air for a long time and are not easily detected. These fibers can then either be inhaled or ingested. If they stick to a person’s clothing, skin or hair then others who come in contact with that person could also inhale or ingest the fibers.
After inhalation or ingestion, asbestos fibers can become lodged in the lungs or other body cavities and cause serious disease. Symptoms of these diseases do not generally appear until 10 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos.