Did you know that there are several different types of asbestos in the world? Most people do not realize this, but all asbestos is hazardous to your health. Colorado Hazardous Environmental is here to explain the different types so that you have better knowledge of the dangers of asbestos exposure.

There are two main categories of asbestos minerals. Each type was used to make durable and heat retardant materials.

Serpentine asbestos gets its name from the way it looks. The fibers are curly and consist of crystal sheets. The only asbestos fiber in this category is called Chrysotile. It is a white asbestos and makes up most of asbestos materials. 95% of construction materials is made with Chrysotile. It is known to cause major health problems like cancer and death.
Chrysotile has been used in a lot of materials, such as:

  • Roofing
  • Tile
  • Adhesives
  • Insulation
  • Gaskets
  • Brake Pads


This type of asbestos contains crocidolite, amosite, actinolite, anthophyllite, and tremolite asbestos. Below we will discuss information on each.


Crocidolite is one of the more uncommon types of asbestos and doesn’t stand up to heat like amosite. Crocidolite is a blue asbestos that consists of thin fibers and can easily be ingested by humans. This is the most toxic of all asbestos types.


Amosite was commonly used in construction materials. While Chrysotile is harmful, amosite is more toxic. The fibers are shorter and straighter. Amosite is a brown asbestos fiber.


Actinolite is a straight fiber that is dark in color. It was mainly used in insulation, drywall, and paint.


Anthophyllite is one of the harder to find types of asbestos fibers and was not commonly used in construction materials.


Tremolite was used in insulation and commonly found with Chrysotile.