Glossary

ACM — asbestos containing material with greater than 1% asbestos.

Actinolite — a type of asbestos in the amphibole group.

Amosite — a type of asbestos in the amphibole group; it is also known as brown asbestos. It was one of the three commercially important type of asbestos. This type of asbestos is no longer mined.

Amphibole — a group name for a family of naturally-occurring ferromagnesium silicate minerals, characterized by a double chain of silicate ions (silicon-oxygen tetrahedra). This group includes amosite, crocidolite, and tremolite forms of asbestos and more minerals than the ones that are known to be asbestos.

Anthophyllite — a type of asbestos in the amphibole group; it is also known as azbolen asbestos.

Asbestiform — possessing the properties of asbestos, tending to separate into fibres having length: width ratios from 10:1 to over 100:1.

Asbestos — a commercial name given to 6 fibrous minerals that tend to break into fibres. The six regulated asbestos minerals are the serpentine mineral chrysotile and the asbestiform varieties of the amphibole minerals amosite (grunerite or brown asbestos), crocidilite (riebeckite or blue asbestos), tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite. Asbestos fibres are resistant to high temperatures, have high tensile strength, and in some cases can be woven into cloth. All forms of asbestos fibres are able to penetrate deeply into one’s lungs and this puts one at risk of asbestos associated health outcomes.

Asbestosis — (chronic lung fibrosis). It is the scarring of lung tissue resulting from the inhalation of asbestos fibres. This inflammatory reaction is typically chronic.

Carcinogen — a substance or compound capable of inducing cancer

Chrysotile — a type of asbestos in the serpentine group. It is also referred to as white asbestos. It is the one of the 3 commercially important types of asbestos. It is also the most abundant /common form of asbestos used today. Canada was one of the world’s largest producers of chrysotile.

Crocidolite — a type of asbestos in the amphibole group; it is also known as blue asbestos, fibrous riebeckite. Crocidolite was the other commonly used type of asbestos.

Epidemiology — refers to the investigation of patterns, causes, frequency, distribution, and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations during a specified period.

F/cc — fibres per cubic centimeter; reporting units for analyses.

Friable — able to be crumbled, reduced to little pieces. Non-friable materials are not likely to release fibres unless heavily damaged (made friable).

Latency period — the time that elapses between exposure to a carcinogen, toxin, or disease-causing organism and development of the consequent disease symptoms / time when a doctor diagnoses the disease outcome. The typical mesothelioma latency period is 20-50 years.

Mesothelioma — rare form of cancer of the lining that covers several internal organs of the body e.g. lungs, abdominal cavity. The lining is known as the mesothelium.

Non-asbestiform — tending to break into fragments having length: width ratios from 2:1 to 20:1.

Non-malignant lung and pleural disorders — these are the most common clinical abnormalities related to asbestos exposure. These include: (1) benign asbestos effusion, (2) parietal pleural plaques, (3) diffuse pleural fibrosis and (4) rounded atelectasis (an area of collapsed, airless lung adjacent to visceral pleural fibrosis. Some of these orders present no symptoms.

Risk—the possibility or chance that some adverse effect will result from a given exposure to a substance / compound.

Serpentine — the second group-name given to naturally occurring fibrous magnesium silicate minerals. Chrysotile asbestos is a member of the serpentine group.

Tremolite — a type of asbestos in the amphibole group. It is also common contaminant of chrysotile asbestos and vermiculite. There was limited commercial production of this type of asbestos.

Vermiculite — a chemically inert, lightweight, fire resistant, and naturally occurring magnesium silicate mineral that is generally used for its thermal and sound insulation in construction and for its absorbent properties in horticultural applications. A mine near Libby Montana was the source of over 70% of all sold vermiculite. There are concerns that this vermiculite might have been contaminated with asbestos.

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