Asbestos is a common term used to describe one of a group of six naturally occurring mined minerals.
Asbestos has been used world-wide for it's fire resistant properties, but it is proved to be very dangerous to health.
The heat resisting properties of asbestos the 'magic mineral' have been known for thousands of years, in fact it was the Ancient Greeks who devised the name asbestos which means "inextinguishable".
Despite the substance's superb fire resistance and durability asbestos was noted, even in ancient times, as being hazardous to health, when slaves who wove asbestos cloth and asbestos miners developed 'sickness of the lungs'.
Despite these early warning signs the use of asbestos steadily increased, until when at the start of the industrial revolution use of asbestos rocketed.
As demand increased so did the need to transport asbestos and this was undertaken by ship and train.
The shipping and rail industries made use of asbestos in huge quantities as a form of insulation and many workers in those two industries have suffered poor health as a consequence.