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There are currently some 80, plus or minus, known natural occurring mineral fibers. This is probably an exhaustive number with the likelihood of increasing that number by much being unlikely. Unless sub categories of these 80 some fiber types are established. In addition chemical mineral make up allows for fibers such as Tremolite to be considered either as fibrous or non fibrous. Also the Tremolite Actinolite solid state solution, is made up of five fiber types, not two, each differing by one atom. Winchite differs from this solid state solution by one half of one atom. Complicating factors arise in that many of these fibers take on differing aspects when found as weathered fibers or found as non weathered fibers. In my mind this weathered aspect having introduced the completely useless term of "friable" into the lexicon of "asbestos". The selection of 6 mineral fibers to be known and regulated as "asbestos" certainly had something to do with the commonality of these fibers, but today can be thought of as a completely arbitrary decision. Each of these fiber types have different chemical properties, different health consequences, different behaviors (for example fibrous Tremolite remains airborne for far less time than does Chrysotile). The most dangerous of these 80 fiber types for human mesothelioma is a fiber known as Erionite, which remains unregulated notably in the United States and generally around the world. Erionite with a mesothelioma rate in excess of 50% of a given population, is by far one of the most deadly chemical structures our natural world manufactures. The word "asbestiform" if used to delineate between fibrous and non fibrous identical chemical structures, seems the only appropriate use of that term to me. Better staying with the terms "fibrous" or "non fibrous". The word "asbestiform" introduces a near mystical aspect into the study of "asbestos", which as seen from the natural occuring complexity presented above, is not needed. TTrent —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs) 03:19, 5 June 2010
Cleanup of "Early Uses"
This section relies heavily on a collection of miscellaneous, and sometimes unattributed, quotations regarding "ancient uses of asbestos", found on the family pages of an astrophysicist at the University of Calgary, and apparently compiled by somebody called "Sylvia".
The former reference to Marco Polo, which I have removed, was attributed to a Danish book on asbestos, and bore no resemblance to Polo's actual work, which I have quoted in its place.
The only citation offered for the last two paragraphs is "History of science: This article incorporates content from the 1728 Cyclopaedia, a publication in the public domain;" with a faulty link to the text of Ephraim Chambers's Cyclopædia (1728). That work, while it is indeed in the public domain, is hardly a reliable source for historical or scientific information. Its article on asbestos at this point is more an historical artifact itself than a secondary source.
I have cleaned up numerous problems of style and logic, and have flagged what I couldn't fix. If anybody takes issue with any of my changes, I'll be happy to offer specific justifications.
The links provided by Jdcrutch: Cyclopædia has image issues (the pages are images), and article on asbestos is 404. Clearly, some more digging needs doing to provide citations for all of these things. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 01:47, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
How long has it been since asbestos has had to be removed