What Types of Asbestos Are There?
Six types of asbestos fall into two general groups. They can all threaten your health, though some are considered more dangerous than others. There were thousands of asbestos products sold over the years. If you have an asbestos-related medical condition, Satterley & Kelley may help you obtain compensation for what you’re going through.
Asbestos is a group of minerals in a fiber form. If inhaled or swallowed, they can cause different types of cancer, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. There are five types in the amphibole mineral family, one in the serpentine mineral family, according to the Abramson Cancer Center.
Amphibole Mineral Family
Amphibole varieties have straight, sharp, chain-like structures. These fibers are easy to inhale and become lodged in the body.
It is usually dark in color with has sharp, needle-like fibers. It’s made of calcium, iron, magnesium, and silicon. It was used in cement, paint, sealants, insulation materials, and drywall.
Amosite asbestos, known as brown asbestos, was primarily mined in South Africa. Its fibers are brittle, sharp, and needle-like. It was in about five percent of asbestos-containing products used in US buildings. It’s the second most common type of asbestos after chrysotile.
Amosite was used in:
- Floor tiles
Anthophyllite is made of long, needle-like fibers. It may look brown to yellowish and is made mainly of iron and magnesium. It’s a rare form of asbestos. It generally wasn’t used in consumer products but can be part of insulation and some cements. It has also been found in talcum powder products.
Crocidolite asbestos, or blue asbestos, has extremely fine, sharp fibers. Crocidolite was used in tiles, cement, phenolic molding compounds, gaskets, insulation and even cigarette filters.
Tremolite is more heat resistant than other types and can be woven into fabric. It has sharp fibers and can look milky white to dark green. It’s found in talc (used in talcum powder) and vermiculite (used as insulation). It was used in sealants, paints, roofing, insulation, and plumbing materials. Tremolite has also been found in talcum powders.
Serpentine Mineral Family – Chrysotile
Chrysotile asbestos is the only asbestos in the serpentine family. Known as white asbestos, it has a layered structure and curly fibers.
Chrysotile asbestos is the most commonly used type. It’s estimated it was 90 to 95 percent of the asbestos used in US buildings. It was particularly heat resistant, and its flexible fibers were woven into fabric. Chrysotile was used in:
- Brake parts
- Roofing materials
It’s still mined in Russia, Canada, and Italy. Companies mining and exporting it claim it’s safe because the end products encapsulate it in cement or resin. But all forms of asbestos can cause cancer, and there’s no known safe exposure level. Because it was so widely used, chrysotile fibers started most mesothelioma cases and other asbestos-related diseases.
Which Types Are Most Dangerous?
Of the six, crocidolite and amosite are considered the most dangerous, according to the National Cancer Institute. Their short, sharp fibers penetrate lung tissue easily. They’re also difficult to breathe out, so the harm they cause is hard to prevent after they’re inhaled.
Those suffering from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease may be entitled to compensation. Call Satterley & Kelley toll-free at 855-385-9532 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.