top of page

What is asbestos

  Asbestos belongs to a family of mineral fibers found naturally in rocks, the family of fibrous silicates , including the group of serpentines and the group of amphiboles which have been exploited by humans for industry and commercial level, some countries still produce and use asbestos for these properties such as Russia, China, Canada (use only), ... Note that in this family, there are asbestos and non-asbestos groups. Its name comes from the Latin " asbestos " which means incombustible .

  These natural rocks are composed of several mineral groups, that is, the extraction of asbestos is often coupled with the extraction of nickel or iron.

  Asbestos is used because of these exceptional properties:

     - fire resistance

     - low thermal, acoustic and electrical conductivity

     - mechanical resistance (tensile, bending and wear)

     - resistance to chemical attack (acids and bases)

     - elasticity

     - the possibility of being spun and woven

     - low cost

  These properties vary according to the variety.


Roche amiantifère

  In France, the main mines were located in Corsica and New Caledonia. Today these mines are no longer exploited, however, there is a risk for the population near the old brownfields as well as because of the natural outcrops present in these regions.


Canary mine in Haute Corse

Additional information site:

          Site de l'INRS : information sur l'amiante

Dossier Amiante

bottom of page