A Short Guide To Asbestos

We generally all know now that asbestos is not a good and cuddly product to have around us.  It’s in fact a naturally occurring fibrous matter made up of fibres made up of crystalised minerals.    These make it incredibly strong and on the surface, ideal building material in that the fibres cannot dissolve in fluid, evaporate or burn or chemically degrade.  Biological degradation also does not happen.    Asbestos has to be split into two sub groups:  serpentine and amphiboles.  The most commonly used is chrysotile/white) which is the serpentine type.  These fibres are soft and flexible.  Being curved, they are less hazardous than amphibole – which can be broken down into sub groups such as crocidolite-blue; amosite-brown, tremolite, actinolite and antrophylite.  These are all brittle fibres and very often needle or rod like in appearance.   This form is the most hazardous and had previously been the most commonly used type of asbestos in the industral landscape.