Asbestos is not used in ceramic body or glaze formulations, it is used to make insulating boards and blankets for kilns and furnaces. It performs extremely well as a refractory and has been difficult to replace, it is still used. A number of man-made fibers have been developed but these have presented similar health hazards and have proven unsuitable for other reasons. Soluble fibers have been introduced, these dissolve over time in the lungs. However they are not as refractory.
Asbestos is a fibrous magnesium silicate. Its hazards are well known and related to the particle shape and size and the ease with which these can be trapped deep within the air pockets of the lungs. Companies that used or use asbestos have been mandated to create websites to manage legal claims against them, especially by their workers. Talc is also a fibrous magnesium silicate.
|Hazards||Talc Hazards Overview|
|Hazards||Man-Made Vitreous Fibers (MMVF) Toxicology|
Asbestos at ilo.org
AP Green Asbestos Use