Asbestos minerals have novel properties which make them highly desirable for industrial use. While the health hazards of asbestos have long been recognized and are well documented in the medical literature, ecological and environmental research involving asbestos fibers has only been undertaken in the past 25 years and the significant deleterious effects of asbestos materials on soil and plant ecology has been much less well publicised.
This book examines non-occupational exposure and environmental effects of asbestos relating to animal and plant growth in the natural environment. Major nutrient imbalances and excess concentrations of trace metals have been identified as main causes for the poor plant response. Given the complexity of the asbestos analysis and the extent of the problem, this book attempts to bring together the multitude of subjects pertaining to asbestos in the natural environment with the aim of contributing to a better understanding of the chemical characteristics of asbestos-rich materials and their effect on plant growth.