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During the peak era of asbestos consumption, the toxic mineral was incorporated into approximately 3,000 types of products. One of the most common commercial applications was insulation products for construction, shipbuilding and industrial manufacturing.
Countless other types of building materials were manufactured with asbestos, including ceiling tiles, joint compounds, cement, drywall and roofing materials. To this day, these building products have a high potential to release toxic fibers into the air during renovation and demolition work.
Asbestos has also been spun into various textile products such as rope, cloth and garments. Shipyard workers who installed asbestos insulation often wore protective gloves and aprons that also contained the dangerous ingredient.
Another leading sector that continues to use asbestos materials is the automotive industry. Many car parts that withstand high temperatures and friction, such as gaskets and brake pads, have contained some percentage of asbestos.