Environment: An Overblown Asbestos Scare?

The dangers are minimal in most buildings, says a new study

Lurking in ceiling tiles and insulation, wrapped around heating pipes and boilers, asbestos -- that once beloved fireproof mineral, now dreaded as a carcinogen -- is virtually everywhere in American buildings. Communities and companies around the country have been spending millions of dollars in a race to remove the lethal stuff. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that at least 733,000 public and commercial buildings and up to 45,000 of the nation's 100,000 schools contain asbestos in a potentially dangerous condition. While the cost of removing it could reach hundreds of billions of dollars over the next few decades, failure to...