Considerable human-derived data the health consequences of asbestos exposure are available. Usually, less information is available from laboratory models of asbestos-related health effects. Animal data mirror the experience in man, and cellular studies help in to understand the mechanistic changes related to asbestos. Although it is clearly carcinogenic, asbestos has shown much variability when examined for its mutagenic activity. Asbestos, a commercial term referring to a family of six naturally occurring mineral fibers, has been widely used around the world. Disease has been recognized into the last century, and at this time every occupational group that has been examined for possible asbestos-related disease has demonstrated it. Disease associated with asbestos makes no distinction based on race or geography, and wherever asbestos is handled it produces disease. With shifting global commercial patterns, disease patterns can be expected to shift also.