The word asbestos is a commercial term to indicate any fibrous mineral with a fibrous form. In fact, there are many types of asbestos fibres which are divided into two families based on their differences in physical/chemical properties: the serpentine(white asbestos fibre) and the amphiboles (blue and brown asbestos fibre)
Amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite are all amphibole type of asbestos fibre, which is straight and needle-like and has a long half-life. Once in the human lung, amphibole fibre could cause tumors and inflammation symptoms. After 10 to 20 years of incubation, the tumor will develop into cancer and other lung related diseases.
The serpentine fibre group, including chrysotile asbestos (or white asbestos), is curly and soft, which makes it the only approved type of asbestos to be commercialized today – most commonly for industrial purposes. The group is put under the list of low biopersistent chemicals, much lower than glass wool fibre. According to scientific researches, after entering human body via inhalation, chrysotile fibre will be disposed from the lung in 0,3 to 11 days or decomposed by the acid environment created by the macrophage.