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Industrial Revolution Spreads Asbestos Use Worldwide

Asbestos became a popular and pervasive product during the Industrial Revolution, and its use escalated from the 1800's to the mid-to-late 20th century.

During the Industrial Revolution asbestos was used as insulation for steam pipes, turbines, boilers, kilns, ovens, and other high-temperature products. Near the end of the 19th century the use of asbestos became even more widespread.

Because of this increased demand, asbestos began to be mined commercially, with the first mine being opened in 1879 at Thetford, in the province of Quebec, Canada. At the time, the Thetford Mines produced 300 tons of asbestos annually.

Shortly thereafter, asbestos mining began in Russia. In the beginning of the next century, mining operations for asbestos began in Australia and Africa, particularly South Africa.

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