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Asbestine is a mineral compound composed of nearly pure fibrous magnesium silicate, with physical characteristics between those of asbestos and talc. It is used in paper manufacture[1] and construction.


In antiquity, it was sometimes called linum vivum, and used to take advantage of its fire-resistant properties. These uses included making it into napkins and towels, which, when dirty, were simply thrown into the fire to clean.[2] Historically, it has been used in a cast stone form on house exteriors, such as the Rand House in Minneapolis in 1874.[3] Contemporary applications include use as an extender in paint-based products, although statutory restrictions on how much can be used have long been in place.[4]

Health concerns[edit]

Trace amounts can be found in talc, which often contains asbestos fibers of various types.[5] Studies into health risks associated with talc determined that with so many commercial varieties of talc being types of asbestine minerals, the resultant lung diseasetalcosis, which can follow their prolonged inhalation, is usually a variety of asbestosis.[6]


  1. ^ Roberts, Matt T. & Don Etherington. "Asbestine". Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology. Archived from the original on 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  2. ^ Chambers, Ephraim. "asbestine". Cyclopaedia. Archived from the original on 9 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  3. ^ Hitchcock, H.R. (1960). "review: A Century of Minnesota Architecture by Donald R. Torbert". Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 19 (1): 39–40. ISSN 0037-9808. JSTOR 987968.
  4. ^ Office of the Attorney General; Government of Ireland. "S.I. No. 287/1949 — Standard Specification (Extenders For Paints) Order, 1949". Irish Statute Book.
  5. ^ Rohl, Arthur N.; Langer, Arthur M.; National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) (1974). "Identification and quantitation of asbestos in talc". Environmental Health Perspectives. 9: 95–109. doi:10.1289/ehp.74995. ISSN 0091-6765. JSTOR 3428261. PMC 1475418. PMID 4470959.
  6. ^ Schepers, G.W.H (1964). "Pneumoconiosis". The American Journal of Nursing. 64 (2): 109–114. doi:10.1097/00000446-196402000-00033. ISSN 0002-936X. JSTOR 3452977.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name needed". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.