Specimen of crysotile asbestos

Specimen of crysotile asbestos

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Credit: J.C. REVY, ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Crysotile asbestos (hydrous magnesium iron silicate), a naturally-occurring, fibrous aggregate which belongs to the serpentine group of minerals. Asbestos is non-flammable, has a very low thermal conductivity and was once widely used for fire-proofing and thermal insulation. Its usage is now strictly controlled, however, as exposure to asbestos dust can cause cancer and asbestosis (chronic inflammation of the lungs). Important deposits of crysotile asbestos are found in Quebec, the USSR and Zimbabwe. This sample comes from Asbestos in Quebec.

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Keywords: asbestos, chrysotile asbestos, crysotile, earth science, geology, mineral

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