What is asbestos?

Asbestos detail

Asbestos is a generic term for a number of naturally occurring minerals (silicates) which are composed of fine microscopic fibres. There are various kinds of asbestos minerals. Asbestos occurs all over the world.

The word asbestos comes from the Greek 'asbestos', which means incombustible. It is a naturally occurring mineral, made up of microscopic fibres. Asbestos is found in some layers of the rock of the Earth's crust and is mined in countries such as South America, Russia and Canada. There are about a dozen types, three of which are widely used:

  • Chrysotile or white asbestos
  • Amosite or brown asbestos
  • Crocidolite, or blue asbestos

The dangers of asbestos:

Exposure to asbestos can pose a risk to health. After inhaling the microscopic fibres end up in the lungs. The risk of disease increases with the intensity and the duration of the exposure. This can cause lung, pleura or laryngeal cancer. These diseases are therefore recognised as an occupational disease with exposure to asbestos under working conditions.

Where is asbestos found?

corrugated rooftops

Up until the eighties, asbestos was widely used in buildings, homes and industrial facilities. After all, the product has certain useful features: it is strong, durable, insulating and also inexpensive. Asbestos was used for corrugated rooftops, sewer pipes, insulation and slate roofing.

Due to some strong characteristics, asbestos was widely used in industry and construction: the product is strong, durable, insulating, fire-resistant and also inexpensive. In the industry it was mainly used for its insulation and fireproofing qualities, around pipes, in boilers, in gaskets, in cooling towers ...

Applications of asbestos:

  • asbestos insulation
  • asbestos flooring and -roofing
  • asbestos cement
  • asbestos textiles
  • asbestos ceilings
  • asbestos seals
  • asbestos cords
  • asbestos pipes
  • asbestos filters
  • asbestos fire dampers
  • ...

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