from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of a large group of structurally similar hydrated double silicate minerals, such as hornblende, containing various combinations of sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and aluminum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large group of structurally similar hydrated double silicate minerals, containing various combinations of sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and aluminium/aluminum

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A common mineral embracing many varieties varying in color and in composition. It occurs in monoclinic crystals; also massive, generally with fibrous or columnar structure. The color varies from white to gray, green, brown, and black. It is a silicate of magnesium and calcium, with usually aluminium and iron. Some common varieties are tremolite, actinolite, asbestus, edenite, hornblende (the last name being also used as a general term for the whole species). Amphibole is a constituent of many crystalline rocks, as syenite, diorite, most varieties of trachyte, etc. See hornblende.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given by Haüy to hornblende, from its resemblance to augite, for which it may readily be mistaken: now used as a general term to include all the varieties of which common hornblende is one. See hornblende.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a mineral or mineral variety belonging to the amphibole group


French, from Late Latin amphibolus, ambiguous, from Greek amphibolos, doubtful, from amphiballein, to throw on either side : amphi-, amphi- + ballein, to throw; see gwelə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • Prolonged exposure to one variety, called amphibole fibers, appears to bring serious tissue damage and cancer.

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  • That is the textbook definition, but some other typical characteristics of dacite lavas (or magmas) is the presence of certain minerals: plagioclase feldspar and hydrous minerals (containing water in their mineral structure) such as amphibole (typically hornblende) or biotite mica.

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  • Tightly bound chrysolite, amphibole and tremolite fibres are completely safe and their manufacture and export strictly controlled, in theory, under the Hazardous Products and Environmental Protection Acts.

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  • There is strong evidence that the genotoxic and carcinogenic potentials of asbestos fibers are not identical; in particular, mesothelial cancer is most strongly associated with amphibole fibers.

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  • In the amphibole group, there are five types of asbestos.


  • From this generic representation, the chemical composition of the amphibole asbestos can be given as noted in Table 1.

    Geology of asbestos

  • The average chemical composition of amphibole minerals may be represented as:

    Geology of asbestos

  • Elemental analysis data for several chrysotile and amphibole samples are presented in the table below.

    Geology of asbestos

  • The amphiboles have a lower water (hydroxyl) content and their dehydroxylation reaction begins between 400-600° C, depending on the amphibole type; this reaction leads to a weight loss of approximately 2%.

    Geology of asbestos

  • The behavior of amphibole fibers under continuous heating is similar to that observed with chrysotile, although the temperatures of dehydroxylation and recrystallization processes are different.

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