Asbestos Myths

Asbestos Myth 1: “Breathing in one asbestos fibre can kill you”

This is incorrect; all the different types of asbestos are natural and are in rocks throughout the world. This means that they are being weathered into the air all the time and so wherever you are in the world, you will be breathing in small quantities of asbestos fibres.

Asbestos Myth 2: “White asbestos (chrysotile) is not dangerous”

This is incorrect; white asbestos (chrysotile) is classed as a carcinogen and is dangerous, although not as dangerous as the other forms of asbestos – see our asbestos health risks resource for more information.

Asbestos Myth 3: “When white asbestos (chrysotile) is bonded into cement, the cement reacts with the asbestos fibres over the years and causes a chemical change which makes the asbestos non harmful”

This is incorrect; even after many years, a competent laboratory will still be able to recognise chrysotile asbestos in a cement product and there is no evidence that its carcinogenic properties reduce with time.

Asbestos Myth 4: “Mesothelioma is always the result of being exposed to asbestos fibres released by man”

This is incorrect; Mesothelioma has been a disease of man since before man started to release asbestos into the atmosphere, but exposure to asbestos will increase the risk of catching mesothelioma. In fact, the greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the risk of mesothelioma.