Transmitted Off Crossed Polarized Light Illumination
Amosite asbestos is the fibrous form of amphibole in the cummingtonite-grunerite family. Its chemical composition is
(Mg, Fe, Mn)7
. It is the next most common commercial asbestos
Significance in the Environment:
Amosite is a hazardous material and exposure should be very carefully limited. It is one of the more hazardous of the
Amosite asbestos was used primarily for boiler and steam pipe insulation and for sound proofing products like acoustic
ceiling tile. It is not a common form of amphibole and so its presence in the environment generally indicates the
disturbance of an asbestos containing construction material.
Amosite fibers tend to be straight and are rather stiff. The fibers tend to be bundles and the terminations are often
Well broomed. They show good dispersion colors when dispersion staining is used and they are mounted in a high dispersion
1.680 refractive index oil.
The two most common non-fibrous materials that amosite is associated with are magnesia and gypsum. A very common block
form of insulation containing amosite was simply designated as Magnesia 80. It is 80% magnesia (magnesium oxide) and 20%
asbestos. The asbestos content ranges from 20% amosite to various blends of amosite and chrysotile. The gypsum
formulation was similar though often calcite (limestone) would be blended into the gypsum.
When used in acoustic ceiling tile it is generally mixed with glass fiber and an epoxy binder.
1. Asbestos Textile Institute, HANDBOOK OF ASBESTOS TEXTILES, 3RD EDITION, 1967.
2. Campbell, W.J., R.L. Blake, L.L. Brown, E.E. Cather, and J.J. Sjoberg, IC 8751; SELECTED SILICATE MINERALS AND THEIR
ASBESTIFORM VARIETIES, US Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Mines Information Circular, 1977
3. Deer, W. A., R. A. Howie, and J. Zussman, AN INTRODCUTION TO THE ROCK-FORMING MINERALS, ISBN 0-582-30094-0, pp. 237-241,
4. Ledoux, R. L. (ed), SHORT COURSE IN MINERALOGICAL TECHNIQUES OF ASBESTOS DETERMINATION, Mineralogical Association of
5. Levadie, Benjamin (ed), DEFINITIONS FOR ASBESTOS AND OTHER HEALTH-RELATED SILICATES, ASTM STP 834, 1984.
6. Riordon, P. H. (ed), GEOLOGY OF ASBESTOS DEPOSITS, Society of Mining Engineers, 1981.
7. World Health Organization, ASBESTOS AND OTHER NATURAL MINERAL FIBRES, Environmental Health Criteria 53, 1986.