One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A highly heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics, and is used in brake linings and in fire-resistant and insulating materials.‘asbestos was used for pipe insulation’as modifier ‘asbestos shingles’
- ‘The point is, exposure to asbestos, dust and fibre on its own can cause lung cancer.’
- ‘Most of the raw asbestos goes into the manufacture of brake linings in Melbourne.’
- ‘One of the varieties is the dangerous blue asbestos, crocidolite.’
- ‘The asbestos fibres got stuck in the hand-knitted socks and jumpers.’
- ‘The focus of the ad was to inform the public that chrysotile asbestos does not cause cancer.’
- ‘The asbestos would be mixed with a soapy material and be subjected to a high temperature.’
- ‘I have now heard that there is asbestos in this building so it would cost a lot of money to sort the problem out.’
- ‘Firefighters learned there was asbestos in wall panels in the blazing block shortly after arriving.’
- ‘The most commonly used type of asbestos, accounting for 95% of all commercial usage, is chrysotile, also called white asbestos.’
- ‘Several powders or dry colours use a base of asbestos, chalk powder or silica.’
- ‘Several Asian countries still use brown asbestos, and almost all of them still use white asbestos.’
- ‘The inhalation of amphibole asbestos is now widely recognized as being highly dangerous to human health.’
- ‘Up until the late 1980s, carcinogenic asbestos was used in building houses.’
- ‘When these buildings begin to deteriorate, asbestos fibres may be released.’
- ‘Like many projects of this type, we had to deal with removal of asbestos and lead paint.’
- ‘But his lungs lost the battle for health years ago when he worked with blue asbestos fibres, insulating for the telephone company.’
- ‘For many years asbestos was considered a safe material ideal for fire prevention and insulation.’
- ‘Asbestos becomes a health hazard if it releases asbestos fibres into the air.’
- ‘The notice prevented further work in the affected part of the hangar until asbestos debris or loose asbestos had been removed.’
- ‘The company had told the workers the building was free of asbestos.’
- 1.1 Fabric containing asbestos.
- ‘We eventually had to make special asbestos cloth covers for the footwell to stop the fried foot problem.’
- ‘The council is also pressing for safeguards to ensure no toxic materials such as asbestos are processed on the site.’
- ‘However, the outside walls were never plastered and asbestos was the material used for the roof.’
- ‘The floor is covered with thick black linoleum and the walls are acoustically treated with an asbestos compound.’
- ‘She remembered how there were pipes in a basement ward lagged with what appeared to be asbestos insulation.’
The asbestos minerals include chrysotile (white asbestos) and several kinds of amphibole, notably amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos). The danger to health caused by breathing in highly carcinogenic asbestos particles has led to more stringent control of its use
Early 17th century, via Latin from Greek asbestos ‘unquenchable’ (applied by Dioscurides to quicklime), from a- ‘not’ + sbestos (from sbennumi ‘quench’).
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