Discovery Guides Areas


Asbestos in the United States: Occurrences, Use and Control
(Released April 2008)

  by Andreas Saldivar & Vicki Soto  


Key Citations

Visual Resources

News & Scholars



ACM: Asbestos containing material. In the USA is defined as any material containing more than 1% asbestos of any regulated type.

AHERA: Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, 1986

Amphibole: "A group of dark rock-forming ferromagnesian silicate minerals, closely related in crystal form and composition and having the general formula: A2-3B5 (Si,Al) 8O22 (OH) 2 where A = Mg, Fe2+, Ca or Na and B=Mg, Fe+2,Fe+3, or Al." (Bates & Jackson, 1980)

Asbestiform: A mineral that is fibrous.

Asbestiform habit: A mineral that is fibrous.

Asbestosis: "A breathing disorder caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Prolonged accumulation of these fibers in your lungs can lead to scarring of lung tissue and diminished breathing capacity." (Mayo Clinic, 2007)

Friable: Broken or powdered easily with hand pressure.

Inosilicates: "A class or structure type of silicate characterized by the linkage of the SiO4 tetrahedra into linear chains by the sharing of oxygens." (Bates & Jackson, 1980)

Massive habit: A mineral that does not have a fibrous form.

Mesothelioma: "A rare cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium)." (Mayo Clinic, 2007)

PCM: Phase Contrast Microscopy

Phyllosilicates: "A class or structure type of silicate characterized by the sharing of three of the four oxygen atoms in each tetrahedron with neighboring tetrahedral to form flat sheets." (Bates & Jackson, 1980)

PLM: Polarized Light Microscopy

Serpentine: "A group of common rock-forming minerals having the formula (Mg,Fe) 3Si2O5 (OH) 4." (Bates & Jackson, 1980)

Silicates: "A compound whose crystal structure contains SiO4 tetrahedra, either isolated or joined through one or more of the oxygen atoms to form groups, chains, sheets, or three dimensional structures with metallic elements". (Bates & Jackson, 1980)

Solid solution: "A single crystalline phase that may be varied in composition within finite limits without the appearance of an additional phase." (Bates & Jackson, 1980)

TEM: Transmission Electron Microscopy

Vermiculite: "A group of platy or micaceous clay minerals closely related to chlorite and montmorillonite". (Bates & Jackson, 1980)