Asbestos is a term used to describe a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are durable and fire-resistant. Although they were once intensively used for construction and several other applications, asbestos is now banned in sixty-six different countries worldwide due to the dangers that they pose to human health.
Asbestos, when inhaled, attaches to the lining of the lungs, heart, and abdomen, which can lead to an aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma, along with other serious diseases.
While there are different types of asbestos with various characteristics, they are equally hazardous to health.
Types of Asbestos:
Tremolite and Actinolite: While these types were not used commercially, they often contaminated other types of asbestos. They can be white, green, grey, brown or even transparent.
Amosite: Also known as brown asbestos, it is often found in thermal and pipe insulation.
Anthophyllite: This type of asbestos was used in limited amounts for insulation and construction materials, and has a distinctive colour ranging from grey to soft green and even white.
Crocidolite: Known as blue asbestos, it was commonly used in cement, plastic products, insulation, and coatings.
Chrysotile: Known as white asbestos, this was the most frequently used asbestos type and can often be found in the ceilings, roofs, walls and floors of older buildings.
Is One Type of Asbestos More Dangerous Than The Others?
The idea that asbestos is more or less dangerous depending on its colour is a common myth. Some will claim that blue and white asbestos are more dangerous than the others, but this is due to the way that these types of asbestos were commonly used, rather than the material itself. All types of asbestos can lead to lung disease, various forms of cancer, and other serious health conditions due to the high toxicity levels of the microscopic fibres, which are easy to swallow or inhale.
Is Asbestos in a Property Dangerous?
Although all asbestos is toxic, most types of asbestos are low risk to your health if they are left untouched and undisturbed. However, this may not always be possible for certain types of asbestos products such as loose-fill insulation, which can easily be disturbed and become airborne where it can be inhaled and cause serious damage to health.