Tremolite crystals

Tremolite crystals

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tremolite crystals. Tremolite is a member of the amphibole group of silicate minerals. It often occurs as acicular crystals and when pure is white, but grading to green with increasing iron content. It has a hardness of 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale. Nephrite, one of the two minerals of the gemstone jade, is a green variety of tremolite. A fibrous variety of tremolite is used as asbestos, which is toxic and leads to asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma when the fibers are inhaled.

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