Types of Asbestos
Asbestos comes in various shapes and sizes. As a matter of fact, there are several types of asbestos that can be found naturally in the ground. Some are more readily used than others. Some are also more dangerous than their counterparts.
In all, a total of six different types of asbestos have been identified throughout the world. Each belongs to one of two categories: serpentine or amphibole. Serpentine varieties are characterized by their curly fibers while amphibole asbestos possesses thin, straight fibers in a chain-like sequence. The amphibole variety is viewed as the more dangerous of the two.
Chrysotile is the only serpentine variety, while the other five - crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite - are of the amphibole variety. Only chrysotile, crocidolite, and amosite are used in industrial applications. The other three varieties are quite rare.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Abestos http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/asbestos/
- National Cancer Institute. Asbestos Exposure: Questions and Answers. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/asbestos
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registryhttp://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/asbestos/asbestos/health_effects/index.html
Last modified: December 28, 2010.