White marble originating from Africa could contain asbestos. The warning has been issued by Stone Federation Great Britain.
It says asbestiform minerals have recently been identified in a sample of faintly veined white marble said to have originated from Africa.
It is advising its members to request and scrutinise the full petrographic examination report (which is required for CE marking) on any stone that seems to fit this description and strongly recommends further extensive tests before using. Asbestiform minerals are chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite.
Stone Federation says it is necessary to establish whether, if asbestiform minerals are present, fibres in the respirable range would be generated during cutting, grinding and polishing operations before processing of slabs starts.
As most people are by now aware, asbestos fibres can cause lung cancer which nearly always kills the suferer.