Since the nineteenth century, asbestos has been used in various industries such as the automotive industry, the shipbuilding industry, the construction industry, power plants and many other industries. In the shipbuilding industry and in power plants it has been mainly used for many years for the insulation of boilers, incinerators, turbines, generators, hot water pipes and steam pipes. Asbestos has also been extensively used in the metal industries, mainly as insulator of material. The building and construction industries have used asbestos for fireproofing, sound absorption, insulation and for the strengthening of cement and plastics. Many water supply pipes and drainage supply pipes may contain asbestos. Asbestos may also be used in the casting of electrical wires, fire protection materials, roofing material and electrical components. The automotive industry uses asbestos in various products such as clutch pads, brake shoes, linings and gaskets.
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Asbestos may also be present in industrial filters for beverages, roofing materials, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, underlying material for sheet flooring, adhesives, patching tape, plastics, heat and fire resistance fabrics, garden products, paints and coatings. Asbestos can also be found in such familiar products as table pads, heat-protective mats, packaging components and even some blankets and curtains. In the past it has also been used in artificial ashes, electrical hair dryers, crayons and even cigarettes.