Asbestos is a mineral that was commonly used for insulation right up until the 1980s, when it was phased out and eventually banned in Australia in 2003. Asbestos was believed to be harmful from the beginning of the 20th century, but was still mined and used all over the world until recently. Some other countries still use asbestos today. Asbestos is made up of microscopic needle-like "fibrils" that can become airborne through abrasion or cutting. Prolonged inhalation of these "fibrils" can cause serious and fatal illnesses including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. If asbestos is identified in your home during renovations, it will have to be removed for everyone's safety.