Long term (many years) exposure to airborne asbestos
can lead to chronic lung disease and a rare tumor: mesothelioma
Most asbestos is used in insulation and is best handled by covering with paint. However, the legal underpinnings have convinced the public that if they get within 100 yards of asbestos, that they are at risk - so we spend $$$$$ to remove it. Only bad when released to the air.