Many people know that, like lead, asbestos can be a dangerous substance. However, most people aren't very informed about what to look for and what the risks are, and others still aren't even aware of asbestos to begin with. Here is what you need to know before you start doing anything around an older home. What Is Asbestos? Asbestos is not a man-made chemical, as some people may think. Instead, it is a naturally occurring mineral, just like gold, silver, and diamonds.