Products that contained asbestos were in widespread use up until the mid 1980s. These products had applications in the construction industry because they were so durable, they were good insulators, and they were fire resistant. But despite all these things, asbestos is also extremely hazardous and can cause a number of diseases, including a rare cancer called mesothelioma.
Sheets of asbestos were used frequently in construction up until restrictions were finally put in place on products made with asbestos. Asbestos sheets had many applications, depending on how they were made. They could have been used for roofing, cladding, or for the construction of ceilings and floors. Asbestos sheets may contain between 20 and 80 percent asbestos, depending on what application they were being used for and where they were placed in the building.
As long as the material does not deteriorate or become damaged, the danger is minimal. It is the people that manufactured and installed these sheets that are at the greatest risk for any of the asbestos-related diseases. However, any damage to or deterioration of the sheets may release asbestos fibers into the air, where they can be breathed in and cause serious health problems.