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Amphiboles in Soapstone Ridge, Georgia.
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Petrographic methods of examination were used by the Bureau of Mines on a suite of samples of Ultramafic rock from Soapstone Ridge, Georgia, Located about 8 miles south-southeast of Atlanta. The samples were analyzed to determine (1) their potential for releasing regulatory particles upon crushing and grinding and (2) their concentration of fibrous particles that approach the dimensions of amphibole and serpentine asbestos minerals. Such particles might be generated during grading and excavation for housing and industrial development and could become a health concern. Light optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and x-ray diffraction were the techniques used to examine the samples. Six of the twelve samples contained amphibole as a major mineral; in five, it was a moderate to minor mineral. One sample contained no amphiboles, and serpentine was not observed or identified by x-ray diffraction in any of the samples. In nine of the samples, the amphiboles exhibited a habit that was either prismatic or acicular, but not asbestiform. Two of the samples did contain asbestos, occurring as small veins or fracture fillings, which represented only a minor percentage of the total sample. Similar petrographic screening is recommended for examining any rock deposit or mine location to delineate hazardous and nonhazardous mineral areas.
IH; Report of Investigations
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division