Asbestos

*Variable Forms*

Source: Naturally occurring minerals may cause direct contamination of natural water resources. Used in insulation, cement, pipes, and brake linings.

Summary: Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral used to insulate or add fire-resistant properties to materials. Asbestos minerals are either amphibole asbestos (actinolite, tremolite, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite) or serpentine asbestos (chrysotile). Asbestos minerals may be found associated with talc and vermiculite, or within serpentine rocks. Asbestos is mainly imported from China, Russia, and Kazakhstan. Asbestos is used in cement, in pipes, as insulation material, and in materials under high stress from friction such as brakes. Natural dissolution and erosion of asbestos minerals may cause contamination of natural water resources. Drinking water may become contaminated if leaching occurs from pipes. Asbestos fibers may accumulate within humans and cause long-lasting health effects.