So, we all know Asbestos is hazardous material, but do you know the common types?

Asbetos Removal

So, we all know Asbestos is hazardous material, but do you know the common types?

In this article we will discuss a little of the history of asbestos, the different types of asbestos fibers, and what it was commonly used in.

Asbestos has been used by mankind for over 4500 years. The word asbestos was first used in the 1600s. The word means “inextinguishable” in Greek. Asbestos materials have been used in all major civilizations and is still being used today. During the 20th century Canada and the United States were one of the largest producers of asbestos containing materials.   

What are the different types of asbestos?

There are two main categories of asbestos: Serpentine and Amphibole. Serpentine is the most common category. They are referred to as serpentine due to their curved fiber shape. Amphiboles are needle like fibers that can easily penetrate and damage lungs.  

Serpentine Asbestos


Chrysotile – This type of asbestos is the most common used in construction, making up about 90 percent of the asbestos fibers found in commonly used building materials. Chrysotile is also known as “Blue” asbestos due to its blue color. Chrysotile was commonly used in the following building materials:

  • Vinyl flooring
  • Mastics
  • Popcorn ceiling
  • Drywall, tape and texture
  • Roofing
  • Spray on fireproofing
  • Insulation

Amphibole Asbestos


Amosite – Is the second most common asbestos material used in the United States. The majority of the Amosite mines were located in Africa. Amosite is also known as “Brown” asbestos. Amosite is a needle like fiber and is said to be more dangerous than Chrysotile asbestos.  Amosite was commonly used in the following building materials:

  • Vinyl tiles
  • Gaskets
  • Roofing
  • Spray on fireproofing
  • Insulation

Crocidolite – The majority of the Crocidolite mines were located in Australia and Bolivia. Crocidolite materials used to be used in some cigarette filters in the 1950s. Crocidolite is considered to be very dangerous due to the very thin and spear like fibers. Crocidolite was commonly used in the following building materials:

  • Ceiling tiles
  • Battery casings
  • Cement
  • Fireproofing

Anthophyllite – Is the most uncommon type of asbestos and had a very limited practical use in building materials. Anthophyllite had limited uses in some rubber and cement products.

If you think you might have asbestos and would like to discuss an asbestos abatement project, please feel free to contact one of our Abate Right asbestos abatement professionals.