The silicate mineral asbestos is categorized into two main groups based on fiber structure: serpentine asbestos (chrysotile) and amphibole asbestos (crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite). All forms of asbestos are capable of inducing mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other diseases.
However, unlike other forms of asbestos, chrysotile asbestos, the predominant form of asbestos in world markets today and in the past is well documented to have only a short residence time in lung tissue.
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) runs a campaign to stop the use of all forms of asbestos, including chrysotile asbestos. Also the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified chrysotile as a group 1 carcinogen.
 
The following article deals with chrysotile asbestos and a recent publication that suggests fibre detection in lung tissue for the diagnosis of asbestos disease, which would be problematic for the compensation of affected workers in practice: