Why chrysotile – cement products should be used

Compared to products coming from the petrochemical or metallurgical industries, chrysotile – cement products consume much less energy; in fact, the largest proportion of energy consumption goes into the production of cement.

Chrysolile Cement is produced by Low Energy-Consuming Technology

Manufacture of some products involves high energy consumption, which means a drain on finite resources (hydroelectricity, fossil fuels, etc.), some of which are non-renewable. Compared to products coming from the petrochemical or metallurgical industries, chrysotile-cement products consume much less energy; in fact, the largest proportion of energy consumption goes into the production of cement.

Chrysotile Cement has a Long Useful Service Life

Short product life means you have to replace more often, create more waste, and need more energy consumption, etc. The resistance of chrysotile-cement products to corrosion, to ultra-violet rays and, notably, to rot is remarkable and unique. A chrysotile-cement roof can last more than 50 years, while those containing replacement fibres, according to some observations, will rarely exceed 20 years. In fact, few other products have such a guaranteed long service life.

Chrysotile Cement Presents a Relatively Low Risk during its Manufacture

Use of countless products may cause environmental damage to fauna, flora, rivers, lakes, seas, underground waters. This may occur, following explosions, radioactive leakage, acid precipitations, etc” as a result of systems malfunction, equipment failure, human error, carelessness or other unforeseen reasons. With well-controlled plant operations, chrysotile-cement manufacturing presents a lesser risk to the environment, compared to many other product manufacturing technologies based on synthetic chemistry or metallurgy.

Chrysotile Cement Presents a Relatively Low Risk when in Use

Some products may be consumed by fire, releasing large clouds of toxic and/or corrosive gases. Whereas many combustible construction materials may, when they burn, release clouds of gases and/or fumes highly toxic to man and to the environment. Chrysotile-cement products are by definition resistant to heat and fire; in fact, they may actually prevent or minimize the spread of conflagration.

These are properties that are crucial to many everyday industrial, commercial, economic and individual activities. Discarding chrysotile asbestos would certainly not mean that the tasks requiring these properties would disappear. It would therefore be necessary to turn to replacement products, which are basically mineral or synthetic, fibre-based (glass, rock, slag, ceramic, carbon, plastic). These products are widely used as thermal insulation and, to a lesser extent, as friction material. Chrysotile cement is often replaced by building materials such as sheet metal or PVC (polyvinyl chloride). As a mechanical reinforcing agent, chrysolile is also replaced by other materials such as cellulose fibre.

It should be added that metal replacement products for chrysotile-cement in the building industry are more expensive, not only in economic terms but also in ecological terms when the full life cycle of these products is taken into account. Thus, for the same lifespan, the manufacturing or replacement metal products requires up to five times more energy than chrysotile-cement, with all which that entails in terms of air pollution and the waste of non-renewable resources.

It is worth repeating a few words about the exceptional characteristics of chrysotile that are not found in other products. Its usefulness lies in its physical chemical properties: chemically it is relatively inert and inflammable and it makes a poor thermal or electric conductor, It also serves very well as reinforcement against mechanical compression and traction stresses.

Chrysotile Cement Presents a Relatively Low Risk when Stored or transported, Prior to or after Use

Transportation and storage of some raw materials or finished products prior to their use, or when discarded after use (ex.: corrosive liquids, hazardous chemicals, storage of discarded PCBs. spent lead batteries. old tires, etc.) may pose a hazard to both the environment and the general population. Transportation and handling of chrysotile-cement products do require appropriate care, but efficient and recognized work practices are simple and straightforward. The safe transportation and storage of some other products are far more complex, and mishaps can (and do) occur. The risk of environmental damage by a spill of a tanker full of crude oil or other petrochemicals, to the risk of a cargo of chrysotile-cement products is not comparable.

Chrysotite Cement Constitutes a Relatively Low Risk at Final Disposal Site

Some products present a high degree of hazard to the environment (soil and/or water contamination) if not securely contained in specially designed and tightly supervised disposal sites. Safe disposal of many modern pro­ ducts and waste has become an environmental and economic nightmare, often requiring especially designed and costly disposal sites, which must be monitored constantly to prevent leakage of contaminating substances into the environment and soil. Waste management is often so complex and costly that “easier” inappropriate solutions are often used… Chrysotile-cement waste disposal is inexpensive, simple and recognized practices are well-known. They are made of naturally occurring material which returns to its environment after use.

Source: Undeniable Facts about Chrysotile (page 47, 48, 49)

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