Colorado workers in certain industries seem to have the highest risk of asbestos exposure -- construction workers, mechanics and those who repair ships. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that no level of exposure to this naturally occurring substance is considered safe. Inhalation can ultimately result in permanent disability or death.
The difficulty with asbestos is that the fibers are so small, they are not seen with the naked eye. A worker can inhale them without even realizing it. The dangers associated with inhaling these fibers are from scar tissue that builds up in the lungs, lung cancer and a disease called mesothelioma (which attacks the lining of the stomach or lungs).