Consumption and Production by Country

U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, January 2007

A United Nations committee did not reach a consensus with regard to the inclusion of chrysotile under its Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure of the Rotterdam Convention. A final decision will be made at their next meeting in 2008. Under the PIC procedure, countries exporting PIC-listed materials would have to inform the recipient countries of the hazardous content prior to shipment. The importing country would then decide whether or not to accept the shipment. All other forms of asbestos are included on the PIC list.

  Mine production Reserves Reserve base
  2005 2006    
United States Small Large
Brazil 195 236 Moderate Moderate
Canada 200 240 Large Large
China 520 400 Large Large
Kazakhstan 355 350 Large Large
Russia 925 925 Large Large
Zimbabwe 122 110 Moderate Moderate
Other countries 84 80 Moderate Large
World total (rounded) 2400 2300 Large Large
         

World Resources: The world has 200 million tons of identified resources. The U.S. resources are large, but are composed mostly of short-fiber asbestos, whose use is more limited than long-fiber asbestos in asbestos-based products. Substitutes: Numerous materials substitute for asbestos in products. The substitutes include calcium silicate, carbon fiber, cellulose fiber, ceramic fiber, glass fiber, steel fiber, wollastonite, and several organic fibers, such as aramid, polyethylene, polypropylene, and polytetrafluoroethylene. Several nonfibrous minerals or rocks, such as perlite, serpentine, silica, and talc, are considered to be possible asbestos substitutes for products in which the reinforcement properties of fibers were not required. No single substitute was as versatile as asbestos.


2002-2003 Data

Exports and imports declined to 4,000 tons and 6,000 tons, respectively. Estimated consumption declined to 6,000 tons from 7,000 tons in 2002. Some reported exports were likely to have been re-exports, asbestos-containing products, or non-asbestos products. Any exports of domestically used produced asbestos were from stocks owing to the closure of the last U.S. asbestos mine in 2002. All the asbestos used in the United States was chrysolite. Canada remained the largest supplier of asbestos for domestic consumption.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, January 2004

World Resources: The world has 200 millions tons of identified resources and an additional 45 million tons classified as hypothetical resources. The U.S. resources are large, but are composed mostly of short fibers.

Substitutes: Numerous materials substitute for asbestos in products. The substitutes include calcium silicate, carbon fiber, cellulose fiber, ceramic fiber, glass fiber, steel fiber, wollastonite, and several organic fibers, such as possible asbestos substitute for products in which the reinforcement properties of fibers were not required. No single substitute was as versatile as asbestos.

Domestic Production and Use: There was no asbestos production in the United States in 2003.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, January 2004

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