is a crystal habit
. It describes a mineral that grows in a fibrous aggregate of high tensile strength
, flexible, long, and thin crystals that readily separate.
[Committee on Asbestos: Selected Health Effects, 2006, Asbestos: Selected Cancers, National Academies Press, ]
The most common asbestiform mineral is chrysotile, commonly called "white asbestos
", a magnesium phyllosilicate part of the serpentine group
. Other asbestiform minerals include riebeckite
, an amphibole
whose fibrous form is known as crocidolite or "blue asbestos", and brown asbestos, a cummingtonite-grunerite solid solution series.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency explains that, "In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air."
"Mountain leather" is an old-fashioned term for flexible, sheet-like natural formations of asbestiform minerals which resemble leather. Asbestos-containing minerals known to form mountain leather include: actinolite, palygorskite, saponite, sepiolite, tremolite, and zeolite.