DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Asbestos fibres (amosite type). Amosite is a rare asbestiform variety of grunerite that was mined as asbestos predominantly in South Africa. Asbestos has been used in a variety of products for purposes of insulation, friction products, fire protection, sound dampening, texturing, chemical resistance, and other applications. Asbestos is a health hazard and causes asbestos-related illnesses, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. Asbestos can break down into very small fibres, which can become airborne. Exposure generally occurs by inhalation or ingestion. Asbestosis is characterized by the scarring of the lungs which reduces the lung's ability to function. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the membrane lining the chest or abdominal cavity and is specifically related to asbestos exposure. Magnification: x1,525 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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