For many years, people didn't understand that asbestos posed a serious threat to people's health. Even after the risks associated with asbestos were known, people dismissed them as minor. And for long after that, people wrongly assumed that unless a person was directly exposed to asbestos, there was no risk of developing an asbestos-related illness.
But as we have seen time and time again, these misconceptions about asbestos can prove to have devastating consequences. Take, for example, that last assumption: the belief that unless people have direct contact with asbestos, there is no need to worry about exposure. We know now that secondary exposure can, in fact, be fatal.