Asbestos can be manufactured in a variety of different ways, all of which are harmful to both the environment and human health. Asbestos is a material that was often used in the construction industry as a building and insulation material for several decades. Although it may still be in place today as insulation for homes and buildings, its use in new construction projects has been outlawed due to its link with cancer and lung diseases.
The question of ‘how is asbestos made’ is quite misleading because the product itself is a naturally occurring mineral that was once extensively mined for various purposes. it is found as groups of fibres in rocks and soil all over the world. It was used as a component in thousands of commercial products and in the construction of homes and other buildings.
Asbestos fibres themselves are made up of long chains of oxygen and silicon and contain other elements including iron and magnesium. It is not just one single type of mineral, but rather a group of silicate minerals that are fibrous in nature. There are six different types of asbestos, which are categorised into two main types: Chrysotile, or white asbestos, and Amphibole, which includes blue and brown asbestos.
Asbestos was often added to construction materials such as floor tiles and roofing products. It was especially popular for products that required exceptional durability, strength, and fire-resistance. Asbestos was also often added to mastics and adhesives to increase their durability and strength, especially in locations where these products would be exposed to extreme heat like energy and industrial production facilities. Finely ground asbestos fibres would often be added to the mixtures that composed these products and materials. Until quite recently, asbestos was also used as a material in the production of textiles, particularly where fire-retardant safety materials were required. Asbestos fibres would be woven into the cloth to produce a fire-resistant effect.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to tell whether or not a product was made with asbestos just by looking at it. Unless there is a label listing the ingredients that you can read to ensure that asbestos is not present, it is best to have a qualified professional take and analyse samples of the product or material to be sure.
Improper use of materials made with asbestos can increase the risk to the environment and health. Contact us if you believe that there may be materials or products that contain asbestos in your home.