Products that contain asbestos are all around us. In the United States, the peak years for the manufacture of products that contain asbestos were about 1940 to 1975. In the 1960s the toxicity of products that contain asbestos finally became widely acknowledged, but it wasn’t until 1970 that federal laws started to limit the many uses of asbestos. Even so, many commonly used products still contain asbestos, and the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) properties of asbestos in these products have caused an epidemic of respiratory and other cancers including mesothelioma cancer .

Asbestos in Building Products and More

Because of the fire- and heat-resistant properties of asbestos, it was used in many building products as a fire-retardant insulator, in plumbing, electrical, and structural applications. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous nature of building products that contain asbestos means that asbestos still has a significant presence in our lives. Below is a partial list of products that contain asbestos, many of which are still in existence in older buildings:

Building exteriors

  • Stucco
  • Building overhangs (thermal spray)
  • Brick and block mortar
  • Asbestos cement siding and roof panels

Building products that contain asbestos in an unbound or loosely bound form

  • Sprayed insulation (fire-resistant, acoustic, condensation control, thermal)
  • Insulating cements
  • Insulation block (calcium or magnesia silicate)
  • Textiles

Flooring

  • Sheet vinyl flooring (asbestos paper backing)
  • Vinyl asbestos tile
  • Floor leveling compound

Walls

  • Stippled finishes
  • Thermal spray
  • Plaster or drywall jointing materials

Pipes

  • Steam and hot water heating supply and return lines
  • Gaskets in flanged pipe joints
  • Domestic water supply and drain lines
  • Rain water and sanitary lines

Ceilings

  • Acoustic and stippled finishes
  • T-bar ceiling tiles
  • Asbestos cement ceiling tiles
  • Plaster or drywall jointing materials

Service Areas

  • Crawl spaces (insulation on pipes, ducts)
  • Machine rooms (insulation on pipes, ducts, floors, ceilings, walls)
  • Insulation in boiler rooms (pipes, ducts, boilers, vessels, incinerators, floors, ceilings, walls)
  • Fan rooms (insulation of pipes, ducts, chillers, floors, ceilings, walls)

Miscellaneous

  • Incandescent light fixture backing
  • Firestopping
  • Welding blankets and screens
  • Incinerators (internal insulation)
  • Wire insulation
  • Heating cabinet panels (asbestos cement)
  • Fire dampers and fire stop flaps
  • Emergency generators (thermal insulation and exhaust manifolds)
  • Duct tape
  • Elevator brake shoes

Benefits and Risks of Asbestos Cancer in Products

Asbestos can be sprayed as a mist to make a friction-resistant and fire-resistant coating. It can be woven and spun into textiles. It can be made into sheets. Its versatility and strength made it seem like a “miracle material.” Unfortunately, the many good properties of asbestos don’t outweigh it one really bad property — it causes asbestos cancer in humans and animals.

Contact Us To Learn More About Asbestos Cancer

If you would like to learn more about the resources available to victims of asbestos cancer, contact mesothelioma treatment center today. We’re happy to help you.

Asbestos Products (english) / Asbesto Productos (spanish)