Asbestos is actually six different, naturally occurring minerals. The types are categorized by two groups based on structure: amphibole and serpentine. Under a microscope, you can see the differences between the two groups. Serpentine asbestos has a layered or sheet-like structure, and amphibole types have a chainlike structure.
Asbestos types occurring most commonly are:
• Chrysotile, or white asbestos
• Amosite, or brown asbestos
Chrysotile is the only asbestos in the serpentine family and previously accounted for 90-95 percent of asbestos used worldwide. Chrysotile is still mined to this day because many manufacturers consider it a relatively safe asbestos; the curly strands are not inhaled as easily, but prolonged exposure to any asbestos can be harmful and cause fatal diseases like mesothelioma. Amosite and crocidolite are used to a lesser extent, but are still more common than other amphibole types. Crocidolite is less heat resistant than other asbestos and was not often used in insulation. Crocidolite is also the most hazardous asbestos because its shape and structure makes it very easy to inhale. Many of the people who mined for it succumbed to mesothelioma.
All forms of asbestos are harmful and can cause health defects. If you have been exposed to asbestos because of someone else’s negligence, get the compensation you deserve. Please contact the experienced Baltimore, Maryland asbestos lawyers at The Law Office of Brown | Kiely, LLP.