January 19, 2012

The Many Varieties Of Asbestos

Did you know that there is more than one type of asbestos? Many people are unaware of this and are basically shocked when they do learn about it. As it is, there is simply not enough information out there for people to really get all of the guidance that they need. The more you know about asbestos, including the various types that are out there, the safer you and your loved ones will be.
The Many Varieties Of Asbestos
You need to first understand that there are two separate families of asbestos. Within those two separate families are different kinds of asbestos. The two separate asbestos families are Amphibole and Serpentine. The main difference between the two families would be the structure of the mineral crystals. The mineral fibers that are in the Amphibole family of asbestos is sort of chain-like. The mineral fibers of the Serpentine family is more of layered sheets.
Within the Amphibole family, there is four different types of asbestos. These types are known as Amosite, Crocidolite, Actinolite and Anthophllite. You will find that Amosite is also known as "brown asbestos" and it is commonly found in the South Africian mines. Then you have the Crocidolite, which is sometimes referred to as "blue asbestos". This type of asbestos can be found in Canada, South Africa, the former Soviet Union and Austria. Actinolite is a rarer form of asbestos but still one to be cautious of because of the danger it presents.
As far as what you will find in the United States, you have Chrysotile, from the Serpentine family. This particular asbestos actually presents roughly 95% of all of the cases of asbestos in the U.S.
No matter which exact form of asbestos you are looking at, it is extremely dangerous. The asbestos fibers are very durable and should be approached with caution. These fibers are fire and heat resistant and they become airborne easier. Once these fibers are in the air, they can be trapped there for a long time. Even once the fibers settle, they are easily able to be stirred back up. When the asbestos fibers make it into the air and into the lungs of a person, serious damage is caused. However, the effects of the asbestos is usually not present for many years. In some cases, problems from the asbestos exposure may not surface for 40 years.
As you can imagine, this is a quiet, yet very deadly mineral that you have to be cautious of and that might just be harder to do than you think. This is because asbestos was used in hundreds of various materials that were used in the construction of homes for many years. If you have asbestos behind the wall you are probably fine. However, should you ever need to remodel or have a broken wall, you may be at risk for asbestos exposure and you will want to seek immediate help. Talk to professionals that are experienced in the proper removal of asbestos. If you are unsure as to whether or not your home contains asbestos, contact a professionally trained company to test your home. This is not something that you are going to want to wait on if you suspect that there may be asbestos in your home.