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Asbestos Exposure and Your Health

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  • Photo of Libby mining site NEW! ATSDR Releases Report
    The Summary Report: Exposure to asbestos-containing vermiculite from Libby, Montana, at 28 processing sites in the United States... more


"Asbestos" is the name of a group of similar minerals with separable, long, and thin fibers. Asbestos fibers are so small they cannot be seen. These tiny fibers are only dangerous if they are disturbed, causing fibers to float in the air and allowing them to be easily inhaled. Asbestos has long been recognized as a health threat to humans, because the fibers can be inhaled and are difficult to remove from the lungs.

ATSDR conducts health-related activities around asbestos exposure and provides informational materials and resources for individuals and health care providers who are concerned about exposure. This Web site provides the following information resources to assist concerned individuals:

Site-Specific Information – Fact sheets, media announcements, and other information about specific sites where ATSDR is working or has worked. This section also includes a map to locate sites across the country and find information about them.

Asbestos and Your Health – Overview about types of asbestos exposure, health effects, and what people should do if they are concerned about exposure.

For the Medical Community – Information for health care providers about working with patients concerned about exposure, and Case Studies in Environmental Medicine (CSEM).

About Asbestos – General information about the geology of asbestos, types of asbestos, how it has been used in manufactured products, and how to detect asbestos.


The content provided on this site, such as documents, text, graphics, images, or other materials, are for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a physician for diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition or for any questions you may have regarding a health concern. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen on this site. Links to other sites are provided for information only. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not constitute endorsement by ATSDR.

This page last updated on October 29, 2008