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What are the Different Types of Asbestos?

Many people are unaware that there are different types of asbestos, previously used to manufacture a variety of things and now known to be a health risk. But what are the different types of asbestos?

Asbestos Fibres

This is the most common type of asbestos, also known as ‘white asbestos’. It is still mined outside of the UK, and was once the most widely used form of asbestos around the world. Chrysotile was used in commercial buildings for insulation, and is therefore usually found in roofs, walls, in attics and basements and where piping and boilers are kept in homes in the UK.


Also known as ‘brown asbestos’, Amosite was frequently used in cement and piping, tiles and thermal insulation products. It was also used in insulating board, which could be comprised of 40% asbestos. This type of asbestos is no longer mined, but was once the second most commonly used after chrysotile.


Crocidolite, or ‘blue asbestos’, is a harder form of the asbestos and more easily broken. It is considered the most lethal form of asbestos – though all types of asbestos are highly dangerous. It was commonly used on steam engines and spray-on coatings, as well as piping and cement.


Tremolite asbestos can be green, white, grey and transparent. It was not used commercially, yet could be found in roofing materials, paints and sealants.


Also known as ‘brown asbestos’, anthophyllite is a rarer type of asbestos and was not used commercially. It could be found in composite flooring and talcum powder.


Actinolite asbestos was processed for light-weight insulation material that was used for fire-proofing, concrete and gardening equipment. It has also been known in children’s toys, drywall and paints.

All of the above types of asbestos share one thing in common: they are highly dangerous. If you suspect asbestos may be in your property, you must seek the help of professionals to survey, remove and dispose of it.

If you come across asbestos at home or at work you mustn’t try and get rid of it yourself, only a specialist contactor would be able to do this safely. The effects of asbestos exposure might only become apparent many years later and the impact can be devastating. No amount of exposure is safe.

The Chest and Asbestos Disease team at Slater and Gordon have worked with many families affected by lung diseases and cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Though nothing can be done to change the past, by raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos, fewer people will suffer in the future.

In the unfortunate event that you are exposed to asbestos it is essential that you register this exposure as soon as possible.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have a specialist team of asbestos compensation solicitors that deal with Asbestos claims on a No Win No Fee basis. For a free consultation call freephone 0800 884 0275 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.


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