Asbestiform is a
crystal habit In mineralogy, crystal habit is the characteristic external shape of an individual crystal or crystal group. A single crystal's habit is a description of its general shape and its Crystal structure, crystallographic forms, plus how well developed ...
. It describes a mineral that grows in a fibrous aggregate of high
tensile strength In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spa ...
, flexible, long, and thin crystals that readily separate.Committee on Asbestos: Selected Health Effects, 2006, ''Asbestos: Selected Cancers,'' National Academies Press, The most common asbestiform mineral is chrysotile, commonly called "white
asbestos Asbestos (pronounced: or ) is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral. There are six types, all of which are composed of long and thin fibrous crystals, each fibre being composed of many microscopic "fibrils" that can be released into ...
", a magnesium phyllosilicate part of the
serpentine group upNecklace and earring set made from semiprecious stones. The spherical green beads are Russian serpentine. Also used are jasper (red) and fluorite (blue).">fluorite.html" ;"title="jasper (red) and fluorite">jasper (red) and fluorite (blue). ...
. Other asbestiform minerals include
riebeckite Riebeckite is a sodium Sodium is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms th ...

, an
amphibole Amphibole () is a group of inosilicate Silicate minerals are rock-forming minerals made up of silicate groups. They are the largest and most important class of minerals and make up approximately 90 percent of Earth's crust 350px, Plates in t ...

whose fibrous form is known as crocidolite or "blue asbestos", and brown asbestos, a cummingtonite-grunerite solid solution series. The United States Environmental Protection Agency explains that, "In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air."

See also

Chrysotile Chrysotile or white asbestos is the most commonly encountered form of asbestos, accounting for approximately 95% of the asbestos in the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor (2007)29 C.F.R.&n ...



Crystallography Mineralogy Mineral habits Asbestos {{mineral-stub