Asbestos is not a manmade product, but one of most terrifying minerals on the planet. Where other minerals act as toxins through their chemistry and sicken victims of accidental poisoning, Asbestos conducts full scale mechanical sabotage on the human lung.
Asbestos is a fully natural category of minerals composed of silica the most abundant of Earth’s hard elements, iron, sodium and oxygen. Asbestos deposits consist of aggregates of thousands of tiny, fibrous crystals that can become airborne and lodged in the human lung. Carcinogenic effects occur through persistent irritation of the lung tissues, leading to scarring. Asbestos formations can also be uncovered among any set of silica rocks, warranting caution when exploring. Strangely, natural weathering leads to natural distribution of asbestos in Earth’s atmosphere. As a result, many humans carry some asbestos fibers in their lungs.
Such an item is a small reminder of the U.S.'s history in asbestos mining, as there were many active asbestos mines across the country which supplied the once thriving asbestos industry. The more notable asbestos mining areas were located in California, Vermont, & Arizona, which ended production as recent as 2002.
However, although active asbestos mining may have ended in the U.S., the U.S. still imports raw, processed asbestos, to the tune of 1,100-tons (2,200,000-pounds) in 2011 alone; not to mention the fact that asbestos is still "legal" to use in many materials and applications in the U.S. and can still be found in building materials right off the shelf. Tragically, it's true.