Asbestos fibres

Asbestos fibres

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Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Asbestos fibres. Asbestos is the name given to several types of fibrous silicate mineral groups that have high resistance to heat, tensile strength and chemical stability. White asbestos (chrysotile) is obtained from serpentine minerals found in metamorphic rock. Like other types of asbestos, it is banned in many countries but its use is still permitted in some. Asbestos has been linked to the pulmonary disease asbestosis and mesothelioma (cancer). This sample, from France, is 6 centimetres long.

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