What are the 6 types of asbestos?

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There are 6 types of asbestos altogether, but 3 main ones are used


The 6 different types of asbestos are known as chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite (the 3 that are most often used) and anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite.

‘Asbestos’ is the collective name given to all 6 minerals.

As mentioned above, the 3 types of asbestos you will probably be most familiar with are chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite.

That is because these 3 minerals are the ones that have been used most extensively in building materials over the years.

Let’s look at all 6 different types of asbestos and see how they differ, starting with the 3 that are most common:-

Chrysotile

Otherwise known as ‘white asbestos’, chrysotile is the most commonly used form of all the different types of asbestos.

You will find Chrysotile contained within lots of buildings that were constructed pre 1999, when it was eventually banned in the UK.

It can be commonly found in roofs, ceilings, walls and floors.

Chrysotile asbestos was also a popular choice for manufacturers who made brake linings for vehicles, boiler seals, gaskets and also insulation for pipes, ducts and appliances.

Chrysotile is one of the 6 different types of asbestos

Chrysotile asbestos fibers

Amosite

Amosite is also commonly known as the ‘brown asbestos’ and was used most commonly used in the manufacture of cement sheets and pipe insulation.

You will also find amosite contained within building materials such as insulating board, thermal insulation products and ceiling tiles.

Amosite asbestos is one of the types of asbestos that is most commonly used

Amosite asbestos fibers

Crocidolite

The 3rd most common type of asbestos is Crocidolite, otherwise known as the ‘blue asbestos’ or by it’s other name ‘Riebeckite’.

It was frequently used to insulate steam engines, and also used in some spray-on coatings, cement products, plastics and pipe insulation.

Crocidolite is one of the 3 main types of asbestos

crocidolite asbestos fibers

Anthophyllite

Much less common than the likes of chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite, anthophyllite was used in small quantities for the likes of insulation products and some construction materials.

Anthophyllite also occurs as a contaminant in chrysotile, talc and vermiculite.

It can appear as either grey, white or dull green in color.

Anthophyllite asbestos is one of the less common types of asbestos

Anthophyllite asbestos fibers

Tremolite and Actinolite

These 2 types of asbestos are also not commonly used commercially, although, like anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite occur as contaminants in chrysotile, talc and vermiculite.

Anthophyllite asbestos minerals can appear as brown, green, white, transparent or grey.

Tremolite is one of the least common types of asbestos

Tremolite asbestos fibers

Actinolite asbestos is one of the least common types of asbestos

Actinolite asbestos fibers

Did you enjoy reading about the 6 different types of asbestos?  Then check out our other interesting articles below.

Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their properties, carrying out an asbestos survey in their building so as not to put employees at risk.

So make sure you contact our Armco office to arrange an asbestos refurbishment survey, before it’s too late! 

Whether you need an asbestos management survey, or a refurbishment/ demolition survey, contact us on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/

Finally, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/to book an asbestos awareness training course.

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Published Oct 29, 2018
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