Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibers.
Exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of asbestosis, other nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers.
Smokers who are also exposed to asbestos have a greatly increased risk of lung cancer.
Individuals who have been exposed (or suspect they have been exposed) to asbestos on the job, through the environment, or at home through a family contact should inform their physician and report any symptoms.
Government agencies can provide additional information on various asbestos topics. See list to the right.