What Is Asbestos?

Despite the fact that it was once a very commonly utilized material in building work (and remains in use to some degree), even to this day a lot of people still do not really know that much about asbestos – including what it actually is. Essentially asbestos is a collection of silicate minerals which have naturally combined to create the fibrous material.

However, beyond this initial description things are more complicated, as there are 6 types of naturally occurring asbestos forms – according to the categorization by the Environment Agency – and in terms of its usage in building work asbestos is generally divided up into 3 different types.

What Is Asbestos

The first of these types of asbestos is Chrysotile – which is also sometimes referred to as Serpentine White. This is probably the most common form of asbestos and it is noted for its greater degree of flexibility than other forms of the fiber, which has usually led to its being turned into thread and fabric.

One of the most common ways in which Chrysotile asbestos was used in building work was in the creation of cement corrugated roof sheets for use as part of outbuildings, where it was employed as a weave. The next form of asbestos is Amosite, also known as Amphibole Brown, and found most frequently in Africa.

This was used most regularly within items designed to be thermally insulated, where it served as a fire retardant. The final type of asbestos is Amphibole Blue – otherwise called Crocidolite – which is most likely to be located in Australia and southern Africa and which is extensively utilized in a number of products designed for use in the home.

In terms of the history of its actual use, the practical application of asbestos dates back to 5th century BC Greece, from where it also received its name and in which culture it was employed in a number of ways – including the creation of burial clothes and lamp wicks. Asbestos was generally used in building work, until the health problems associated with it became apparent. If you are looking to make an asbestos claim in the UK, the solicitors firm Irwin Mitchell can be a good starting point. Talk to the expert and they will surely help you.