Crocidolite asbestos, also referred to as riebeckite or “blue” asbestos, is a form of the material that has been used widely throughout the last 120 years. This form of asbestos has been mined primarily within Bolivia, Australia, and southern Africa. Today, the material is no longer excavated, mostly due to the fact that this form of asbestos is less resistant to heat than other forms of the mineral.
Risks of Crocidolite
Although crocidolite asbestos has been the least-used form of the mineral, it is certainly the most dangerous. The death rate due to mesothelioma among those who have mined for crocidolite stands at approximately 18%.
Crocidolite asbestos has limited applications, although it was used widely in products that were used to manufacture asbestos cement. It is also not the most flexible of asbestos types. Chrysotile asbestos is considered the most versatile and is the form of the mineral most commonly used. It is present in about 95% of products which contain asbestos and is the hardest of the minerals in its group.
Uses of Crocidolite
Asbestos cement was developed in the beginning of the 20th century. During this time period, it was widely believed to be safe and was valued for its flame and friction resistance. During this period, cement was reinforced with fibers of asbestos and was appropriately known as asbestos cement. This was a common type of asbestos building material. However, it has since proved highly hazardous. When the bricks of asbestos cement and other asbestos-containing products are chipped or cracked, the fibers or crocidolite are able to become airborne and, therefore, inhaled by victims.
Safety of Crocidolite
The asbestos fibers present in crocidolite or other forms of asbestos are able to become lodged within the lungs, as well as other parts of the body. It is at this stage that the fibers can cause scarring and initiate the onset of asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. If an individual believes that they have been exposed to crocidolite asbestos to seek a thorough medical examination, whether or not they display symptoms of disease.