Asbestos And Its Effects On Society

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Asbestos is a small set of minerals that occur naturally in the environment. These minerals are silicate compounds, which means they contain silicon and oxygen; they form as groups of fibers that can easily be separated. These fibers are very durable, as they show a strong resistance to many common chemicals, heat and electricity. This made asbestos appear be a useful chemical for products used in a wide range of industries, so much that the United States military mandated its use in its branches. Since the industrial revolution, asbestos has been used to insulate factories, schools, homes, ships, to make automobile brake and clutch parts, roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, cement, textiles, and hundreds of other products.…show more content…
Approximately 90 percent of the asbestos used commercially in the world is chrysotile. Amphibole asbestos includes the minerals actinolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, and amosite. These minerals have weaker, straight, needle-like fibers that make them more limited in their ability to be fabricated. Amosite asbestos is primarily sourced in South Africa, it is considered to be more toxic than chrysotile, and was most commonly used in construction products. It was at one time the second-most commonly used form of asbestos. Crocidolite, which is known as blue asbestos, once made up about four percent of all asbestos used in the United States. This “blue” asbestos is extremely thin, and harder and more brittle than other types, which causes it to break easily and release dangerous needle-like fibers that can be easily inhaled. This made it to be the most harmful form of asbestos by far, and it was often used as a reinforcement material for plastics and for making ropes. Actinolite asbestos was often used to make insulation and construction materials such as drywall and paint, although it is very rare, and usually found in metamorphic rocks. Chrysotile asbestos was the most widely used form in the world. It is estimated that about 90-95 percent of all asbestos that remains in buildings in the U.S. and Canada is of this variety. Chrysotile was used heavily in fireproofing and in insulation products. It was

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