There are several kinds of asbestos but not all of them cause disease. Exposure, and the method of exposure, must match up in a specific way for a person to get sick from asbestos.
There are six kinds of asbestos that belong to two mineral families: amphibole and serpentine. Amphibole asbestos includes:
Serpentine asbestos is the group made up of only chrysotile asbestos. This kind of asbestos is the most common, and it makes up around 90 to 95 percent of all asbestos used in buildings around the country. It is heat-resistant and has flexible fibers, so it works well in many situations. You’ll likely come across chrysotile in:
- Roofing materials
- Brake lining
- In other products
Companies today believe that chrysotile asbestos is safe because it is used in forms that are not easy to inhale. For example, they are usually dense and nonfriable, so the asbestos fibers are encapsulated and unable to be breathed in.
Of the asbestos above, the first five are the greatest risk to individuals because of their easy-to-breathe-in nature. They are light fibers. Tremolite was once a common cause of asbestos-related illnesses, but it is no longer mined today. Each of the first five types of asbestos have sharp fibers that are easy to ingest or inhale, making them extremely dangerous to those who are exposed to them.
Asbestos has its benefits, but it is harmful to the people around it. If you suffer an injury, know that you can seek assistance and financial support.