The Mineral Nature of Asbestos

Publication Information:

Ross, M., A.M. Langer, G.L. Nord, R.P. Nolan, R.J. Lee, D.R. Van Orden and J. Addison, “The Mineral Nature of Asbestos”, Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Vol. 52, pp. S26-S30, 2008. DOI: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2007.09.008

Year: 2008

Fibrous minerals are common in nature but asbestiform minerals are rare. The unique mineralogical characteristic common to all the asbestos minerals is their morphologic form (or habit of crystallization) as polyfilamentous fiber bundles. The individual fibrils within the bundles have a tendency to be very long with a narrow range of diameters and grow with their long fiber axis in parallel orientation to the bundle length. The asbestiform habit imparts to the asbestos minerals sufficient flexibility and tensile strength so that most can be woven into cloth. In the past application has focused on their ability to insulate against the transfer of heat. However, these minerals possess other properties which make them useful in many industrial applications.