Salamandra, Mountain Leather and Rock Floss – The Folklore of Asbestos

Asbestos has been thought of a worthwhile utility for its hearth resistant properties for over 3,000 years. This worth was not quickly diminished, regardless of the truth that the opposed results had been evident nearly immediately after its discovery. It was solely as not too long ago because the daybreak of 20th century that there is been any type of consensus on what the fibrous stone materials really is. Whereas we all know asbestos at the moment to be the lifeblood of a slew of specialised attorneys, it was once a serious level of hypothesis amongst mystics, naturalists, slaves and kings alike. It could finally take lots of of years to be taught what asbestos actually was, however in interim we had been decided to know it. That is what folklore is for.   asbestos removal


Salamanders are a seemingly unlikely place to start out, however they’re really integral to the folklore of asbestos. Some fast analysis reveals that the phrase “Salamander” is derived from persian which means “hearth inside”. This will likely not appear to have a lot relevance till you perceive that salamanders had been considered “hearth elementals,” which means that they require solely hearth for sustenance. It does not cease there although, salamanders really might have been considered one of antiquity’s most wildly misunderstood creatures. They had been considered miraculous, harmful creatures who had been born from blistering bonfires and who may lay total armies to waste with their poison. When it was found that one may weave a material from asbestos that could not be destroyed by a sizzling hearth, the fibers had been considered the fur of a salamander. After all, even when salamanders did have fur, it would be secure to guess that nobody knew what it regarded like. This fantasy remained extraordinarily standard till Marco Polo put an finish to it after having visited a chinese language asbestos mine and deducing that it was really a stone that was dug out of the earth.

Grifters and Pranksters

Many myths surrounding asbestos aren’t a lot about asbestos itself, however slightly the best way individuals used it. There was numerous wiggle room again in historic occasions when it got here to using a material that would not burn in a fireplace. One well-known group of pranksters, aptly known as “The Human Salamanders”, was significantly well-known for utilizing fire-proof asbestos primarily based clothes to do loopy issues similar to roast handheld steaks while standing inside an open flame. Others had extra nefarious intentions, promoting fireproof robes allegedly having belonged to christ was particularly frequent at nighttime ages. Asbestos, it is origins, mythology and potential makes use of ultimately got here to be recognized in so some ways, throughout so many cultures that it was quickly interpreted as a number of totally different substances altogether with names similar to Salamandra, Mountain Leather-based and Rock Floss.

The Illness of Slaves

This final little bit of folklore, sadly, turned out to be utterly correct in hindsight. It was thought of a fantasy, however phrase in historic greece was that the slaves that had labored within the asbestos mines weren’t price shopping for as a result of their brief life expectancy and their tendency to develop pulmonary primarily based diseases. Initially, earlier than it was recognized for it is distinctive properties, asbestos was worn nearly solely by slaves. Nonetheless, it was quickly used particularly for royalty. Asbestos got here to be weaved into napkins, tablecloths and used to make wicks for candles. The impact on the slaves and employees who had no selection however weave the material was broadly noticed. What was in all probability Mesothelioma was then known as “the illness of slaves”. It may very well be mentioned priority was set for asbestos publicity being thought of a poor man’s downside as early as historic Rome.

Turns on the market wasn’t a lot left to be clarified about asbestos after the salamander fur fantasy was debunked. Finally it is defining traits stood out proper from the start. It could possibly’t be burnt in a fireplace and it’ll kill you. Hindsight is twenty-twenty and but, asbestos nonetheless appears otherworldly hellish. However that is and at all times has been the first function of folklore, to remodel and diminish the issues that terrify us. Possibly someday as a society we will ultimately keep away from this stuff altogether and go away the salamander fur within the floor the place it belongs.