What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is incredibly dangerous, which is why we offer Asbestos Removal Liverpool. Asbestos is a group of six different silicate minerals occurring naturally in the environment in the form of fibres. These minerals can be turned into thin and durable threads to use in commercial as well as industrial scale. These durable fibres can easily resist heat, fire and chemicals. They are also an insulator to electricity. These are some of the major reasons on why asbestos is usually used in many factories and industries as well as shipyards, mines and mills. Some other minerals like erionite can also be found in our environment which are similar to asbestos.

The six minerals are the compounds of silicate in their chemical form. They consist of oxygen and silicate atoms in their molecular structure. All of these minerals have common eponymous asbestiform habit. These minerals include long and thin fibrous crystals having an aspect ratio of around 1:20. Each fibrous crystal consists of infinite microscopic fibrils which are released due to the processes like abrasion. These minerals can be separated from each other by looking at their colors. Some of them are green asbestos, brown asbestos, blue asbestos and white asbestos.

These silicate minerals can be distinguished in two groups; one is Serpentine asbestos and the other is Amphibole asbestos. The first asbestos (i.e. Serpentine asbestos) consists of mineral Chrysotile having long and curly fibres. These fibres can easily be woven. The mineral chrysotile form of asbestos is usually used in a large scale in different commercial fields. The next asbestos (i.e. Amphibole asbestos) consists of different minerals like Amosite, Anthophyllite, Tremolite, Actinolite as well as Crocidolite. This form of asbestos includes straight fibres in the shape of a needle. These fibres are highly brittle in comparison to the fibres in serpentine asbestos. However, they don’t have a maximum ability of fabrication. These two forms of asbestos minerals have been recognized by the Government of the United States and have been mentioned in the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) in 1986.

The bundles of asbestos-containing fibres are soft, microscopic and flexible. Pure asbestos can act as a highly effective insulator and can be used to increase the strength of different materials like plastic, paper, cloth and cement by combining with them. Due to these specialties of asbestos, it has been proved to be highly profitable for businesses in commercial scale. However, when the fibres of asbestos get trapped into human body due to heavy exposure to them in shipyards, factories, mills and industries, different diseases can be received over time. Hence, asbestos is also a very toxic material that can result in very serious and fatal diseases. The executive figures of these locations have been trying different measures to prevent the health dangers of asbestos to their staffs and people residing near these places for many decades.

Asbestos is a very well-known material for playing the main role in causing different fatal diseases like asbestos-related lung cancer, pleural thickening, mesothelioma and asbestosis. These diseases can be developed in the mesothelium which includes organs like lungs, abdomen, chest and even heart and can take many decades for the symptoms to start appearing.


It may be helpful to look into the history of asbestos to learn more.

Even though AHERA has legalized the two forms of asbestos in the United States, different attempts for the regulation of asbestos and manufacture of asbestos-containing materials have failed. The main reason behind this is the restriction for different commercial agencies, businesses and industries to produce asbestos products. However, it is also legal to have just a single percentage of asbestos in all the products manufactured in the United States, but using more than 1% can be a threat. Despite the restriction to regulate asbestos in the United States, it has remained as one of the only few countries in the world where the use of asbestos is not banned.

Even though the use of asbestos in different products is limited to just a single percentage, different old machines and architectures have been using products containing asbestos in large scale since they were built and manufactured before AHERA was passed in 1986 and before the modern restrictions for the use of asbestos came into effect. Many industries and factories all over the world are still using asbestos from time to time in the present era. The use of asbestos-containing materials has stayed as a huge threat for affecting the health of living organisms in many countries like United States, China and India.

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