Types of Asbestos
Asbestos was dubbed the ‘magic mineral’ because of its amazing properties as an insulating and fire resistant material. It is composed of silicate fibres finer than human hair which are easily inhaled and can lodge deep in the lungs – leading to disease.
The fibres can be either curly (chrysotile, or white asbestos) or straight (amosite, known as brown asbestos and crocidolite, known as blue asbestos).
The straight fibre asbestos poses the greatest danger as it easily penetrates deep into the lung. As the particles are invisible to the human eye, they can be inhaled without a person’s knowledge. It is when the fibres are free, or ‘disaggregated’, rather than bonded that they pose the greatest risk.