Amosite asbestos is a form of asbestos also referred to as grunerite, or brown asbestos. Amosite is a name that is derived from the name of the business known as “Asbestos Mines of South Africa,” or AMOS, which is where a large amount of amosite asbestos has been mined. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that amosite is one of the most common forms of the asbestos mineral within the U.S., second only to chrysotile.
Cancer and Amosite
Amosite has been linked to several cancer cases, including mesothelioma, among many individuals in several nations. The majority of cases have appeared to occur near the amosite mines that are located in South Africa, which is the largest commercial mine containing amosite. The amosite miners and processors have proven to be at a particularly high risk of developing asbestos-related conditions.
Amosite within the United States
The majority of amosite asbestos that was used in the United States was most likely mined in South Africa. This form of asbestos was commonly used in thermal insulation and other products found in buildings, including:
- Roof tiles
- Ceiling tiles
- Floor tiles
- Insulation board
- Plumbing insulation
- Sheets of cement
- Chemical Insulation
- Telecommunication and Electrical Insulation
Inhalation of Amosite
Amosite fibers are thin and long and have the ability to be broken down into needle-thin particles. Fragments of these fibers have been found within many building materials. Like other asbestos forms, amosite poses less of a risk when contained in a secure area or product. During the process of installation, however, it is possible for the fibers to become loose and released into the air. This may also occur when the fibers are manipulated, removed, damaged, or deteriorate over time. It is at this point that the fibers are able to be inhaled, risking the health of the building’s workers or occupants.