That, in a nutshell, is the story of asbestos. And the back story as well of one of the most controversial industries today, the asbestos removal industry. The ancients considered asbestos magical and wove it into cloth. But it was during the Industrial Revolution that it began to be widely used for its heat- and chemical-resistant properties, mainly as insulation in turbines, boilers, kilns and ovens. It is also highly resistant to electricity. In the 20th century, there was even more widespread use of asbestos in buildings and homes, automobiles, and clothing.