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What are the different types of asbestos?
Asbestos is the word used to describe a group of minerals that all have fibrous structures that can cause health problems when damaged. Although the three most commonly found types are named after colours, you can’t use this as a way to identify them so you should still check with a professional Asbestos surveyor if you suspect to have found Asbestos.
Chrysotile (White Asbestos)
This type of Asbestos is different from the others as the fibers are curly rather than straight. This is the most common type of Asbestos found in the UK and is found in many different building materials such as Asbestos cement, insulation and gaskets. It has a high flexibility and fire resistance and it’s curly structure also allowed it to be spun into threads and woven into clothing. It is suspected that it takes less exposure to white Asbestos to develop health condition than other kinds, although it is still considered dangerous.
Amosite (Brown Asbestos)
This type has a structure of straight spikey fibers with a good tensile strength and heat resistance. It is most commonly found in Asbestos Insulation Boarding (AIB) in the UK, but was also used in cement sheet, pipe insulation and ceiling, roof and floor tiles.
Crocidolite (Blue Asbestos)
This type is the most lethal kind of Asbestos as it has very thin fibrers that can become dispersed in the air and inhaled more easily. The material is also more brittle so can be more likely to break apart increasing the risk associated with it’s use. It is highly resistant to heat and acids and its bulky structure made it suitable for spray on insulation.
Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthophyllite
These last 3 types were less commonly used in the UK so you are not as likely to come across them. Tremolite and Actinolite is most likely to be found in fire proof paint, sealants, or insulation. Anthophyllite was never used commercially but may be sometimes found in products containing talc.
We offer a range of services to deal with Asbestos across the UK. Is you suspect you have asbestos in your home, workplace, or site - call us on 0333 772 0424.