A natural mineral, Asbestos, is popular due to its physical properties. Its desirable properties include it being resistant to heat, fire and chemical damage. It is also resistant to electrical damage. It is also desirable due to its tensile strength and strong absorption property. Its application include hotplate wiring and building insulation. It has been over 4000 years since the asbestos mining first started. Asbestos is mined in several countries. The use of asbestos in insulation began in the United Kingdom as early as the Industrial Revolution. Apart from insulation asbestos has been used in several applications with the likes of fire crippling coatings, pipe lagging, bricks and boiler linings. “Inextinguishable” is the term which comes to fore as one translates the word asbestos into Greek.
The three naturally occurring asbestos forms:
- Chrysotile: This is the white asbestos and the one that is used most often. This form of asbestos is mixed up with cement and corrugated sheets are made. Flats sheets are also made with it aimed at floors and walls. It is very flexible which enables it to be spun and used in fireproof clothing. For pipe insulation it is ideal. Out of the amount of asbestos used in buildings this form about 95% of the total.
- Amosite: The second type is known as amosite, also known as brown asbestos. It covers steel in the buildings for protection against fire. It is also used in walls for the purpose of sound proofing. Although useful it was harmful which resulted it being banned.
- Crocidolite: This form of asbestos is also known as blue asbestos. Out of the these three types of asbestos it is the most hard and least flexible one. This implies that it is very strong and also has resistance to acid. Among the three forms of asbestos blue asbestos poses greatest danger. Primarily its usage was conducted in a controlled form gradually leading to a ban altogether.
The Unpopular Asbestos
Although it is popular among manufacturers it is infamous for may reasons. It was banned in the United Kingdom in 1999. It must be noted that whenever or wherever asbestos is found trained professionals must be called in to dispose it off carefully. A licensed asbestos company must be called to action since asbestos poses great health risks. Wrong removal procedures must be avoided. It is safe with asbestos when it is alone but any damage can trigger it to emit fumes that are extremely hazardous to human health.