Asbestos - What is it?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate that can be split lengthways into finer fibres. Thousands of asbestos fibres can fit into the diameter of a human hair.

There are 6 different types of asbestos that are split into 2 groups, the Serpentine Group and the Amphibole Group.


The Serpentine group contains Chrysotile (White) Asbestos. The fibres of Chrysotile are curly. They are the most flexible of asbestos fibres and as such can be spun and woven as easily as cotton. It has, traditionally, been the most widely used type of asbestos.


The Amphibole group contains Crocidolite (Blue) Asbestos, Amosite (Brown) Asbestos and the lesser know Anthophyllite, Actinolite and Tremolite. These fibres are straight and needle like.


Asbestos is known for its strength, its resistance to heat and chemicals and the fact that it does not degrade. Weight for weight, it is stronger and lighter that almost every other known natural product.


AmositeAmosite - This is commonly known as Brown asbestos

CrocidoliteCrocidolite - This is commonly known as Blue asbestos 

Chrysotile - This is commonly known as White asbestos