Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has crystals from long thin fibers. It became very popular with manufactures and builders in the late 19th century due to its resistance to heat, electrical, chemical damage, sound absorption and tensile strength.
On automobiles it can be found in brakes, gaskets, and clutch disc on the older cars. Since about the mid 1980's parts containing asbestos have been eliminated.
When working on a car that may have parts with asbestos always wear a breathing apparatus to avoid inhaling the dust as much as possible. Exposure to this for a long period of time can lead to serious illnesses like mesothelioma.
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