The public has become acutely aware that there is a large quantity of asbestos in the environment - it is used to insulate homes, schools and other public buildings, in car brakes, hair-dryers, and in many other applications. Asbestos and other fibrous inorganic materials are used so extensively because of their unique physical and chemical properties, which partly result from their fibrous form. This form also accounts for the hazards they pose to health. This comprehensive sourcebook introduces inorganic fibrous materials, both synthetic and naturally occurring. It provides an accessible general description of the fibrous state, the range of compounds that can adopt this form, and their unique characteristics. The author also assesses their use in industry and evaluates their safety.