If asbestos is so dangerous, why is it used?

The short answer to that question is “money.” For machinery, equipment, building structures, etc., already in place, it is much more cost effective to leave asbestos-containing products in place than it is to remove and replace it. And, asbestos that is not disturbed is not a problem. Low levels of asbestos are present in the air, water and soil, and are not harmful, the National Cancer Institute says. The people who become ill from asbestos are usually those who are exposed to it on a regular basis, most often in a job where they work directly with the material or through substantial environmental contact.