Chrysotile asbestos possesses some exceptional properties which other minerals or synthetic fibers are deprived of: it is stronger than steel, it does not corrode, it is fire resistant (heat insulating) and nonconductive; it is much cheaper than synthetic fibers such as polyvinyl acetate (PVA); its production is less energy-consuming. Cost-saving and environmentally acceptable, it strengthens any cement/polymer mix, when added, and increases its durability significantly. It is the material that remarkably demonstrates its efficiency.
The tensile strength of asbestos fibers is better than that of steel wire; at the same time, thanks to its high adsorption capacity asbestos adheres well to hardening cement. This is why asbestos cement products have proved so successful: they are light, durable, water-resistant and waterproof, and fireproof; they neither rot nor corrode.
The advantages of chrysotile asbestos have been demonstrated in residential and industrial construction and sanitation infrastructure. Chrysotile cement is used in the production of flat or corrugated sheets for housing, pipes for drinking water supply and sewage systems, slate, flooring, tiles, reservoirs, panels, etc.
Almost 85% to 90% of all chrysotile mined is used for the production of chrysotile cement. The rest is used in the production of friction materials, technical textile products, seals, special-purpose paper goods, etc.
Thanks to its low cost chrysotile is irreplaceable in the construction of infrastructures vitally important for the population of developing countries and in supplying drinking water, sewerage, and shelter necessary for a healthy lifestyle. The border between illness and health, between life and death may lie here.