—asbestine /as bes"tin, az-/, asbestous, adj. —asbestoid, asbestoidal, adj./as bes"teuhs, az-/, n.1. Mineral. a fibrous mineral, either amphibole or chrysotile, formerly used for making incombustible or fireproof articles.2. a fabric woven from asbestos fibers, formerly used for theater curtains, firefighters' gloves, etc.3. Theat. a fireproof curtain.Also, asbestus.[1350-1400; < L < Gk: lit., unquenched, equiv. to a- A-6 + sbestós (sbes- var. s. of sbennýnai to quench + -tos ptp. suffix); r. ME asbeston, albeston < MF < L]
* * *Any of several minerals that separate readily into long, flexible fibres.Chrysotile accounts for about 95% of all asbestos still in commercial use. The other types all belong to the amphibole group and include the highly fibrous forms of anthophyllite, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, and actinolite. Asbestos fibre was used in brake linings, insulation, roofing shingles, floor and ceiling tiles, cement pipes, and other building materials. Asbestos fabrics were used for safety apparel and theatre curtains. In the 1970s it was found that prolonged inhalation of the tiny asbestos fibres can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and/or mesothelioma, all serious lung diseases. The incidence of mesothelioma is most commonly associated with extensive inhalation of amphibole asbestos. In 1989 the U.S. government instituted a gradual ban on the manufacture, use, and export of most products made with asbestos.
* * *town, Estrie region, southern Quebec province, Canada. Asbestos lies near the Southwest Nicolet River, 95 miles (153 km) southwest of Quebec city. Its economy traditionally depended almost entirely on asbestos mining and the manufacture of asbestos products. One of the mines—the Jeffrey open-pit mine—is one of the largest asbestos mines in the world. Electrical equipment and wood products are manufactured. Inc. village, 1899; town, 1937. Pop. (2006) 6,819.
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