When I first looked into the subject of asbestos, cement shingles and their removal, I had no idea what I was in for. So, for my own benefit, I wanted to know.
The general 'jist' of what I read on this particular subject was that for what I had for siding, only about 1% of the material was composed of asbestos fiber. And that 1% was only a danger if the particles became airborne from breaking. Although I'm a bit paranoid from all the information published in the 70's and 80's about the dangers of airborne asbestos, I took mitigating precautions anyway just for peace of mind. Certainly, I don't do this type of work on a regular basis that I would have to worry about contracting anything serious, but nonetheless, TEMPORARY breathing problems such as asthema, broncitus, pleurasy, and the like are definite possibilities! BOTH 'sides of the fence' suggest taking precautionary measures when handling this stuff. And worst, if these types of ailments are part of one's life now, there's a risk of aggravating them under this condition.
In my township, there are ordinances covering the removal of this type of material. For example, as long as the 'product' is non-friable (which means the product isn't hazardous unless the fibers become airborne) and as long as I'm the owner of a single-family home, I can remove it myself. AND, to boot, technically I could put the product in the regular trash a bit at a time. Well, my good conscience told me to use a dumpster for proper disposal. And this disposal actually was at a place that burned this kind of stuff at high temperatures and had scrubbers on the stacks. (I was glad otherwise that the product wasn't simply burried somewhere.) Anyway, if the big picture is of a concern, one can have a pro do the removal or at least one could discuss this with them to see what they do on the job. In closing, no, I'm not looking to pick apart this subject on it's merits and/or downside but simply put it in a perspective to make a more informed decision.