asbestos

  

Definition

Strong and fireproof silicate-mineral fiber that becomes brittle ('friable') with age, and pollutes air and water as extremely fine particles that can cause serious illnesses (such as 'asbestosis') and cancer (such as mesothelioma). Asbestos is found in certain acoustic ceiling tiles, insulation, patching compounds, roofing shingles, texture paints, vinyl flooring, and some appliances such as irons. See also asbestos abatement.

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