Leading asbestos mining countries worldwide 2022
Asbestos production worldwideRussia and Kazakhstan produce the largest volumes of asbestos in the world, totaling 700,000 metric tons and 230,000 metric tons, respectively, in 2022. Globally, asbestos mine production has fallen from about two million metric tons in 2010 to approximately 1.3 million metric tons in 2022.
Previous uses of asbestos and health concernsAsbestos was once widely used in many industries as it is able to resist heat, fire, and chemicals, among other useful properties. More recently, the carcinogenic properties of asbestos have been realized, and in the 1980s and 1990s, trade and use of the substance was banned in many countries. Nevertheless, asbestos consumption persists in different world regions to varying degrees, with Asia and the Middle East consuming more than one million metric tons annually. Accordingly, Asia and the Middle East was the world's largest asbestos consuming region. On the other hand, Oceania did not report any asbestos consumption in 2021.
Prior to its ban, asbestos was used for strengthening cement and plastics and for various uses in building and construction. Exposure to asbestos can occur in many settings and occurs when products with asbestos are disturbed, releasing fibers into the air. The accumulation of these fibers in the lungs can impact breathing and lead to serious health problems.