For part of the 1900s, asbestos was considered a helpful substance because it was both cheap and sturdy. However, in time, it was discovered that asbestos had a downside: it could cause potentially fatal illnesses. Chrysolite asbestos, as well as other forms of the substance, can cause tumors in both animals and humans. One of the most serious diseases that can be caused by exposure to asbestos is mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that invades the protective membrane that covers most of the body’s vital organs. This disease can also spread to other parts of the body, destroying healthy tissue as it moves. Although mesothelioma can occur in those without known asbestos exposure, it most frequently appears in those who have had exposure to asbestos through inhalation or ingestion.
The good news about asbestos is that it is most dangerous when an individual has been exposed to it over a long period of time. This means that those who may have only occasionally come into contact with asbestos-containing packing material may not be in as much danger as those who worked with or around it for a prolonged period of time. However, no one knows for sure that any amount of exposure is safe.