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Lesson 6

What is Asbestos?

You might have seen warning signs around like this one, but do you know what asbestos is and why it’s dangerous?

There are six types of asbestos and each type is made up of millions of thin fibrous crystals.

Asbestos is split into two main classes:

  • Serpentine – curly fibres and easily absorbs water (hydrophilic)
  • Amphiboles – needle-like fibres and repels water (hydrophobic)

There are three main types of asbestos:

  • White Asbestos (Chrysotile)
  • Blue Asbestos (Crocidolite)
  • Brown Asbestos (Amosite)

“Did you know? The name asbestos comes from the Greek word asbeston – unquenchable.”