Asbestos is a mineral that is separable into long and thin fibers and was used extensively in building work. Because of its toxic effects, asbestos has subsequently been phased out of uses in which it comes into contact with people, although lingering health impacts remain, as do issues concerning litigation and liability.

Although there are several different minerals that can be considered to be asbestos, the overwhelming proportion is in the form of Chrysotile (Mg3Si2O5(OH)4), which is a hydrous magnesium silicate known for thousands of years to be resistant to fire and also possibly injurious to health. Asbestos appears in its chrysotile form as a white fibrous mineral. Two other forms of asbestos, blue asbestos (Crocidolite) and brown asbestos (Amosite) are also important in industry and ...

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