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Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used as a building material in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s because of its "idyllic" properties: it is strong, non-flammable, cheap, heat-resistant and fire-resistant, which makes it an ideal building material and production. However, asbestos is also very dangerous for health.
When commercial asbestos breaks down, the fibres it contains are released into the air and can be inhaled – causing lung disease, respiratory problems, and cancer in the long run. For this reason, the use of asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999.
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But what makes asbestos so harmful to health? One of the most important factors to consider is the fragility of asbestos. You can learn more about brittle asbestos in our fact file below:
What is Asbestos Brittleness?
Vulnerability is the trend for asbestos-containing materials (ACM) to crumble, break or crumble under stress or as a result of abrasion. ACM, which is more likely to break down and cause the release of asbestos fibers that can be inhaled, is known as "loose". These materials can easily be crushed by touch or crushed into dust.
Is asbestos brittle?
Loose asbestos is asbestos that is more susceptible to breakage and breaks easily, releasing inhaled asbestos fibers into the air. Asbestos scattered about contains asbestos more than 1% by weight and is easily damaged by hands.
What is Unbreakable Asbestos?
Unbreakable asbestos is asbestos that is more resistant to breakage and abrasion, so it is less likely that harmful fibers enter the air. Unbreakable asbestos cannot be damaged by human hands. It cannot be broken easily.
How is asbestos fragility?
Different asbestos containing materials (ACM) have different concentrations of asbestos fibers and this affects how brittle they are. Materials with a high concentration of fiber are more harmful to health and tend to be more brittle.