Asbestos in abrasives is used in limited applications in certain types of abrasive products, due to its fine structure and its heat resistant characteristics. Examples include:
Asbestos gets into the air as an asbestos-containing grinding wheel is used, and any time you unbutton a grinding machine to maintain or repair it.
This airborne asbestos then poses a threat to your health because you might inhale or swallow it. If it gets inside you it will stay there always. And if it’s inside you, it will try to change your body’s healthy cells to cancer.
Today the risks of asbestos exposure are widely known, with a clear link between asbestos exposure and risks for cancer and other illnesses. When asbestos fibers enter the body by inhalation or ingestion, they settle in vulnerable tissues, inflaming the surrounding area and leading to health problems such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
Unlike many toxins, which the human body can cleanse out, asbestos fibers remain in the system once they are inhaled or ingested. Since they are microscopic, the fibers can slip through the lungs’ natural filtration system. Typically, after being inhaled, they then penetrate outwardly through the membrane which covers the lungs and lines the chest cavity, called the mesothelium. The fibers can also be swallowed, in which case they may end up in the peritoneal (stomach) cavity. Some medical researchers also believe that the asbestos fibers can travel through the body via the lymphatic system. Regardless of how they get where they end up, the fact remains that the fibers stay there. No amount of coughing and no cleansing diet can remove the fibers, in part because of their sharp, needle-like nature. These fibers can penetrate the tissues, and over time they can change them on a cellular level, leading to diseases.