All types of asbestos fibers are known to cause serious health hazards in humans. While it is agreed that amosite and crocidolite are the most hazardous asbestos fiber types, chrysotile asbestos has produced tumors in animals and is a recognized cause of asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma in humans.
Asbestos exposure becomes an issue if asbestos containing materials become airborne, such as due to deterioration or damage. Building occupants may be exposed to asbestos, but those most at risk are persons who purposely disturb materials, such as maintenance or construction workers.
Asbestos containing building materials in residences includes a variety of products, such as: stiple used in textured walls and ceilings; drywall joint filler compound; asbestos contaminated vermiculite, vinyl floor tile; vinyl sheet flooring; window putty; mastic; cement board; furnace tape; and stucco. Asbestos was widely used in roofing materials, mainly corrugated asbestos cement roof sheets and asbestos shingles sometimes called transite. Other sources of asbestos containing materials include fireproofing and acoustic materials.