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Chrysotile Asbestos Ore from Virginia

Chrysotile Asbestos Ore from Virginia

This is a photograph of a specimen in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.



Chrysotile asbestos is the fibrous form of the mineral lizardite of the serpentine group of minerals. Its chemical formula is Mg3[Si2O5](OH)4 with some Fe2+ substituting for Mg. The amount of iron substitution affects the refractive indices and the birefringence. This is the most common form of asbestos used commercially, comprising about 93% of all the asbestos mined. It is also the least hazardous of the asbestos minerals. It is the most flexible of the asbestos minerals and is the one typically used in making asbestos cloth and asbestos paper.

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