Health

Asbestos in schools: What you need to know

The Department for Education referred nearly 700 schools in England to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as they did not provide evidence that they were managing asbestos in line with regulatory requirements. Of the 29,000 ...

Oncology & Cancer

U.S. agencies probing Johnson & Johnson over asbestos in talc

(HealthDay)—Johnson & Johnson is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over possible asbestos contamination of the company's baby powder and other talc-based products.

Oncology & Cancer

Link for asbestos-free talcum powder, cancer not clear

(HealthDay)—Talcum powder, made from talc, which contains asbestos is considered carcinogenic to humans, while the carcinogenicity of talc without asbestos is unclear, according to the American Cancer Society.

Oncology & Cancer

J&J ordered to pay $4.69 bn damages in talc cancer case

US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson was Thursday ordered to pay out $4.69 billion in damages in a lawsuit representing 22 women and their families who alleged a talc sold by the company contained asbestos and caused ...

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Asbestos

Asbestos (pronounced  /æsˈbɛstəs/ or /æzˈbɛstəs/) is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, (1:20) thin fibrous crystals. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma (a formerly rare cancer strongly associated with exposure to amphibole asbestos), and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis). Long exposure to high concentrations of asbestos fibers is more likely to cause health problems.This is most common among the miners of asbestos, since they have the longest exposure to it. The European Union has banned all use of asbestos and extraction, manufacture and processing of asbestos products.

Asbestos became increasingly popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 19th century because of its sound absorption, average tensile strength, and its resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage. It was used in such applications as electrical insulation for hotplate wiring and in building insulation. When asbestos is used for its resistance to fire or heat, the fibers are often mixed with cement (resulting in fiber cement) or woven into fabric or mats. Commercial asbestos mining began in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada and the world's largest asbestos mine is located in the town of Asbestos, Quebec.

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