Asbestos Facts: What is Asbestos

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals (amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite) that have been mined for their useful properties such as thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength. All forms of asbestos are hazardous, and all can cause cancer.

Because of the qualities, asbestos has been used in a wide range of manufactured products, mostly in building materials, friction products, and heat-resistant fabrics. Asbestos can only be identified under a microscope.

Since asbestos fibers may cause harmful health effects in people who are exposed, the EPA has banned all new uses of asbestos in the United States.

 

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