Asbestos refers to a group of silicate minerals that share the same fibrous nature. The use of asbestos is heavily restricted in many countries across the world. Minerals containing asbestos occurs naturally in different types of geological formations. Products which contain asbestos can still generate fibres despite undergoing damage, disturbance or even weathering. Microscopic asbestos fibres cannot be seen, tasted or even smelled. This makes it easier for any person regardless of the age to inhale or swallow asbestos dust without realising it efficiently. Let’s find out the different types and corresponding uses of asbestos below.

Chrysotile

This type of asbestos is mainly used due to its unique properties. They are easily found on the roofs, walls, ceilings and also floors of buildings. They are believed to be the most flexible of all asbestos fibres which makes them be used in several ways such as the strengthening of cement building products, insulation of pipes, automobile brake linings among others. Most products containing this type of asbestos tend to stay for a very long time because they are highly durable.

Amosite

It’s believed to be resistant to heat due to its excellent tensile strength. This makes it be used mostly for fire protection. Other uses of this product are; production of pipes, gaskets, roofing products, moulded pipe fitting covers, manufacture of thermal insulation products. In most buildings, the materials are used for anti-condensation and acoustic purposes.

Crocidolite

They appear in the shape of a needle. This group is well known for its unique property which is its high resistance to acids. Despite its high values this type of asbestos is believed to be the most lethal amongst other kinds of asbestos. This negative impact does not make it any less of being of great significance in different areas such as in thermal and sprayed insulation due to its high bulk volume.

Anthophyllite

This product is scarce. Back then it was used for insulation and construction materials in small quantities. It can also be found as a contaminant in chrysotile asbestos.

Finally, these materials pose great danger in causing illness such as ovarian cancer, asbestosis, lung cancer and many more. Instead of continuing consuming asbestos-related materials, relying on several safer substitutes should be the best way to look into. These substitutes include

  • Amorphous silica fabric. It’s mainly used in shipbuilding, electrical and also automotive industries
  • Cellulose fibre. Used in walls and ceiling coverings
  • Polyurethane foam. It’s useful for insulation, especially in construction sites.
  • Thermoset plastic flour. It provides similar benefits as asbestos without putting workers at risk.

No matter the wide range of asbestos benefits, exposure to this material brings more harm than good. Asbestos-related illnesses often take around two to five decades to develop. One may argue that some asbestos is more harmful than others, but generally, all these products are dangerous. Men over the age of 60 years and above are more prone to test positive on the asbestos-related disease. Source: stolkbuilding.com.au