Definition of chrysotile in US English:



  • A fibrous form of the mineral serpentine.

    Also called "white asbestos" (see asbestos)
    • ‘Gibbs concluded that the different prevalences of pleural calcification in some mining areas might be related to a mineral closely associated with chrysotile, such as mica or talc.’
    • ‘A more insidious and difficult problem presented by asbestos dust is the link with cancer, and here again asbestiform amphibole has proved a more toxic mineral pathogen than chrysotile.’
    • ‘Asbestos, a fibrous hydrous silicate mineral, exists in 6 forms for industrial use: actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and tremolite.’
    • ‘Ninety-five per cent of all asbestos used commercially is chrysotile.’
    • ‘Issues of relative potency among the forms of asbestos, and particularly between chrysotile and the amphiboles, are primarily of concern with respect to the risk of malignancy and are not discussed in this document.’


Mid 19th century: from Greek khrusos ‘gold’ + tilos ‘fiber’.