People may be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, their communities, or their homes. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibers can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing and lead to serious health problems
Low levels of asbestos are present in the air, water, and soil. However, to become ill from asbestos, people have to be exposed to it on a regular basis, by working directly with the material or through substantial environmental contact.