The commercial product, after mining and processing, obtained from a family of fibrous hydrated silicates divided mineralogically into amphiboles (amosite, anthrophyllite, and crocidolite) and serpentines (chrysotile); it is virtually insoluble and is used to provide tensile strength and moldability, thermal insulation, and resistance to fire, heat, and corrosion; inhalation of asbestos particles can cause asbestosis.


[G. unquenchable; so called in the erroneous belief that when heated, it could not be quenched]