Asbestos - the word itself connotes harm or danger. "Asbestos" is actually a collective term used to describe six naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have specific physical/chemical properties. These properties make them resistant to heat and acid and also give the material a high tensile strength, which makes it ideal for use in many industrial materials - everything from brake linings to building insulation.
Asbestos minerals fall into two mineralogical groups, the serpentines and the amphiboles. Chrysotile is the only member of the serpentine group. The remaining minerals, amosite (grunerite), crocidolite (riebeckite), anthophyllite, actinolite, and tremolite are all amphiboles.
to Maria Latyszewskyj, Head, Environment Canada Library, Downsview
and Melissa Kane, National Resource Council librarian
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List of Visuals
- Picture 1: Chrysotile, or white asbestos. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History