Asbestos is not used in steel-making to produce steel. Nevertheless, steelworkers experienced significant asbestos exposure because asbestos was used extensively as insulation for the machinery used for steel production, including steel furnaces, ovens, stoves, rolling mills, and boilers. Asbestos was also used for fireproofing the steel-making machinery components and as insulation boards for the steel molds.
Exposure to asbestos has been shown to cause the development of a lung disease called mesothelioma. Most people assume that the risk of asbestos exposure comes mostly from working around manufacturing processes or construction. However, asbestos was also discovered in talcum powder used in many consumer products.