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Fibrous variety of the magnesium silicate mineral serpentine; it is the most important asbestos mineral. Individual fibres are white and silky, but the aggregate in veins is usually green or yellowish. Chrysotile fibres have a high tensile strength, similar to that of other asbestos minerals (seeamphibole asbestos). The largest deposits of chrysotile are in Quebec and in the Ural Mountains.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on chrysotile, visit Britannica.com.