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What is Asbestos?

 

Asbestos is a commercial term describing the six regulated fibrous minerals.  Asbestos is often broken down into chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos), and crocidolite (blue asbestos). The most common type, chrysotile, is obtained from serpentine rocks and accounts for about 95% of the asbestos found in buildings in North America.  Chrysotile can be spun and woven into fabric due to its high flexibility. The amphibole types of asbestos (amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite) also possess high tensile strength, resistance to chemical and thermal degradation, and electrical resistance, but are less common.  Asbestos is prevalent in older homes due to the thousands of commercial products (pipe insulation, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, etc), that took advantage of the diverse applications of asbestos prior to its being regulated.