INDUSTRY EXPERTSTYPES OF ASBESTOS
Understand the Different Types of Asbestos
Asbestos is the generic term for a number of fibrous silicate minerals known for its heat and corrosion resistance. However, its use is no longer common due to the risk of inhaling airborne fibres, making its presence hazardous.
Crocidolite, or blue asbestos, was commonly utilised to insulate steam engines due to its heat resistance. It was also present in some spray-on coatings, pipe insulation, plastics, fireproofing, ceiling tiles, and cement products. Notably, it’s extremely thin fibres increase the risk of lodging in lung tissue, making it particularly hazardous.
Amosite, also known as brown asbestos, is the second most commonly used type of asbestos. Mainly mined in South Africa, it found widespread application in cement sheets and pipe insulation. Furthermore, it can be found in insulating boards, ceiling tiles, and thermal insulation products.
Anthophyllite asbestos was used in limited quantities for insulation products and construction materials. It can also occur as a contaminant in chrysotile asbestos, vermiculite, and talc. Although not widely employed, it may have a grey, dull green, or white appearance.
Chrysotile is the most used form of asbestos, accounting for about 94% of global asbestos production. It is prevalent in roofs, ceilings, walls, and floors of homes and businesses. Moreover, manufacturers incorporated chrysotile asbestos in automobile brake linings, gaskets, boiler seals, and insulation for pipes, ducts, and appliances.
Durable and similar to other types of asbestos, actinolite asbestos was combined with mixtures to strengthen cement, paint, drywall, and sealants, although it is not used on its own.
Tremolite asbestos is not used commercially, but it can be found as a contaminant in chrysotile asbestos, vermiculite, and talc. Chemically similar to other asbestos minerals, it can appear brown, white, green, grey, or transparent.