Health risks are minimized, if not eliminated, as long as toxic substances are stored, contained, used and deposed of safely. Asbestos becomes dangerous only when the mineral's fibers are disturbed. Inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers can cause severe medical problems like mesothelioma and other cancers.
The majority of asbestos cases you've probably heard or read about, in or outside Pennsylvania, have probably involved direct and repeated exposure to asbestos fibers. Many of us associate that with workplaces, where asbestos was once used in large quantities to manufacture products. However, industrial settings aren't the only places where you'll find victims with asbestos-related diseases.