Asbestos is a name for six naturally-occurring fibrous minerals which include actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and tremolite. The 3 most common forms of asbestos used are: Chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite all of which have in common their similar form or structure, i.e. a particle that is at least 5 microns long or longer, with a length to width aspect ratio of 1:3 or greater.
Asbestos became increasingly popular among builders and building renovators in the late 1800's because of its sound absorption, average tensile strength, and its resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage. Asbestos has been widely used for building materials such as shingles, flooring tiles, insulation for pipes and fittings, warm air furnace duct covering, and acoustical sound deadening (popcorn-style ceilings).