This brown mineral is the second most common type of asbestos involved in the manufacturing of building products throughout the past century. Amosite is, in fact, a trade name which ensued as a partial acronym for “Asbestos Mines of South Africa”, since this type of asbestos occurs primarily in that geographical region. The fibers of amosite asbestos are straight, long, and needle-like, as well as very friable, which makes it considerably more hazardous than chrysotile in terms of how easy it would be for someone to inhale toxic particles.
Amosite asbestos contains magnesium and iron, hence its brown color, and is also known as grunerite (named after Swiss-French chemist Emmanuel-Louis Gruner, who was the first to discover and examine it). It is estimated that amosite asbestos is the culprit behind 15% of all diagnosed mesothelioma cases in the U.S. The mining of this mineral ceased approximately a decade ago and thereby, amosite asbestos can no longer be found in consumer products. This type of asbestos can sometimes appear dark gray or green.
The Most Common Uses of Amosite Asbestos
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, amosite was the second most used type of asbestos. Even though it was nowhere near as widespread as chrysotile, amosite asbestos was added in numerous building materials, such as:
- insulating board, which would sometimes contain up to 40% asbestos
- ceiling tiles
- thermal insulation products
- cement sheet
- pipe insulation
- reinforced plastics
Since amosite asbestos is not commercially used anymore, you will not encounter it in any new product. However, it may be present in one or more of the building materials above if your house was built before the mid 1980s. If you believe amosite asbestos – or any type of asbestos – might lurk in your home, we encourage you to safely collect a sample of product using our guide and send it to us for a free analysis. We will quickly let you know whether the material in question contains this carcinogen so that you will be able to properly dispose of it.
Supposing your house has asbestos, it is strongly recommended to contact a licensed asbestos removal company to take care of the hazardous products. As amosite asbestos fibers are brittle, the risk of exposure is very serious. Only a team of well-trained professionals can handle such building materials, particularly if they are in poor condition. A list of asbestos abatement companies for each state can be found at the end of our free guide.