Asbestos refers to six naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the ability to resist heat, fire and electricity. Although asbestos fibers are microscopic in nature, they are extremely durable and resistant to fire and most chemical reactions and breakdowns.
Many American workers, across a variety of industries, were exposed to asbestos on the job. As a result, they are now at risk to develop mesothelioma. This naturally-occurring mineral, now known to be a human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent), has a history that dates back to ancient Greece. Asbestos was used as a building material, even as far back as during the Roman Empire. Asbestos was a component of fabric that would be used in clothing and a variety of other textiles.