Most people know that asbestos is a dangerous substance, but relatively few realise that there are actually several different types of asbestos. Each type has different applications and presents its own set of risks to human health. Read on to learn about the different types of asbestos and find out how you can protect yourself against them.


Crocidolite is the most dangerous form of asbestos. It is made up of short, spiky fibres that puncture the lung lining when you breathe them in. This allows the fibres to burrow deep into the lungs where they cause aggressive forms of cancer.

Crocidolite was widely used in Australia in previous decades to insulate pipes and buildings. It was also used extensively in the marine industry.

This form of asbestos is blue in colour. If you suspect that crocidolite is present in your home or workplace, it is very important that you do not touch it or disturb it in any way. Instead, you should contact an asbestos removal service as soon as possible.


Like all forms of asbestos, amosite presents health risks including cancer. Due to its rigidity and strength, this type of asbestos used to be included in insulation boards, which were fitted in a wide variety of buildings.

Amosite is sometimes called grunerite or brown asbestos. It was sometimes mixed with other forms of asbestos to create a highly dangerous mixture of fibres. Do not attempt to remove this type of asbestos yourself. Instead, contact an asbestos removal service.


Chrysotile is the most common form of asbestos around the world. It is less dangerous than the other types of asbestos as the fibres are curly instead of spiky, which means they are less likely to get stuck in the lining of the lungs. However, it is still capable of causing serious respiratory diseases.

Chrysotile is no longer used in Australia due to the health risks it poses. However, it was banned much later than the other forms of asbestos, so it is still in place in many commercial buildings. Chrysotile is also still in use in many parts of the developing world, so it is important to be cautious about using imported products.

Despite the lower level of risk, you should still avoid handling chrysotile. Only a professional asbestos removal service is able to safely get rid of any type of asbestos from your workplace or home.