The anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility of single asbestos fibers is measured. The alignment of both chrysotile and crocidolite fibers in magnetic fields is found to be due to the anisotropy. The average measured anisotropy of volume susceptibility is 0.40×10−6 for chrysotile and 83×10−6 for crocidolite. Fiber shape effects are estimated to contribute, on average, about 10% and 6%, respectively, to the total anisotropy of the two types of fiber. There is no evidence of significant permanent magnetic moments. The magnitude of the observed alignment makes the effect potentially useful in real-time detection of airborne asbestos fibers. The experimental technique developed in the study can be used for measuring the anisotropy of small particles of well-defined shape. High sensitivity of the technique permits the measurement of torques lower than 10−21 Nm on particles down to picogram mass.