Mountain Leathers are natural felts of fibrous minerals. They tend to be found on steep, wet slopes in the mountains or
along the banks of mountain streams. Common mountain leathers include felts of the asbestos minerals and fibrous clays.
Chrysotile asbestos is the fibrous form of the mineral lizardite of the serpentine group of minerals. Its chemical
formula is Mg3[Si2O5](OH)4 with some Fe2+ substituting for Mg. The amount of iron substitution affects the refractive
indices and the birefringence. This is the most common form of asbestos used commercially, comprising about 93% of all
the asbestos mined. It is also the least hazardous of the asbestos minerals. It is the most flexible of the asbestos
minerals and is the one typically used in making asbestos cloth and asbestos paper.
Significance in the Environment: