Long before the dangers connected to asbestos were made known to the public, this mineral was regularly used in dozens of different products. One example is expansion joints. These are expansion belts that are used as an under layer and are made with a fabric like asbestos that can insulate and resist heat. This under layer is then vulcanized in order to shield heat. The heat shield greatly increases the heat resistance of the asbestos contained in it so the expansion joint lasts a long time.
Expansion joints are used for many different applications but their main purpose is to allow for heat-induced movement like expansion and contraction. They can be found in sidewalks, bridges, railway tracks, and pipe systems and were often made using asbestos.
People who were employed making expansion joints were frequently exposed to the asbestos when it got into the air. Once ingested in any manner like breathing them in, these fibers can stay in the body for years and can eventually result in one of the asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. The fibers become lodged inside the lining of certain organs and are virtually indestructible.