I remember my aunt’s old house had asbestos ceilings. They were supposed to be fire retardant and would help greatly should the house catch fire and we happened to be in it. This was from almost forty years ago, and back then I had no idea that asbestos exposure could cause mesothelioma.
Wikipedia says that most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. It has also been suggested that washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma. I imagine all the workmen who installed the ceilings in that house and their wives and family members who may have washed their clothes, and I am thankful that none of the houses I have lived in since have asbestos ceilings.