Asbestos is a microscopic fibrous material that's made from various mineral groups. It has existed since the late 1800's, but was used most prolifically in the years following World War II. Widely applied as an insulator to give strength to cement and plastics, it was used extensively in the construction and shipping industries. Eventually, it was discovered that asbestos was leading to an increased rate of lung cancer in the people who worked extensively with it. Stomach and intestinal cancer have also been traced to it. People who smoke and are exposed to asbestos have a much higher chance of developing a cancer. If you know you've been exposed to asbestos for any length of time, it's recommended that you see your physician.
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