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Which Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma?

Which asbestos causes mesothelioma?

Asbestos is often talked about is if it were one substance, but in fact it's more complex. Asbestos is a catch-all term for a fibrous form that multiple types of mineral may come in. Based on the substance it's made from, asbestos can be white, blue, brown, gray or green. There are even differences in the shape of the microscopic fibers it separates into. But along with sharing common properties like resistance to heat and fire, these forms all have the same dangerous health effects. All can cause mesothelioma.

By far the most common form of asbestos is chrysolite, or white asbestos. It was widely used in applications from car parts to vents and ducts to protective clothing, and can still be found in the walls and rooves of many buildings. White asbestos is slightly different in form from the other varieties because its fibers are slightly curved; it's classed as serpentine asbestos. There is some evidence that it's slightly less dangerous than the other, needle-shaped types of asbestos. But any difference is slight: Chrysotile is highly carcinogenic, and health agencies like the EPA have abandoned any effort to differentiate between the cancer-causing potential of different types, opting instead to emphasize the common danger.

Which asbestos causes mesothelioma?

Amosite (brown asbestos) and crocodilite (blue asbestos) are the other two most commonly found forms of asbestos. The brown version is particularly heat-resistant, but both types come with comparatively high risk of disease. Other forms, such as anthophyllite, are more commonly found as contaminants in other products.
Rather than the type of asbestos--or even the product it appears in--the key factor in whether it will cause mesothelioma is the extent to which fibers are released into the air. That means the most dangerous asbestos is any kind that's been cut into, shredded or damaged.

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