What happens to asbestos when it enters the environment?

Asbestos fibers can enter the air or water from the breakdown of natural deposits and manufactured asbestos products. Asbestos fibers do not evaporate into air or dissolve in water. Small diameter fibers and particles may remain suspended in the air for a long time and be carried long distances by wind or water before settling down. Larger diameter fibers and particles tend to settle more quickly.

Asbestos fibers are not able to move through soil. Asbestos fibers are generally not broken down to other compounds and will remain virtually unchanged over long periods.