Asbestos, America’s Legal Killer: Why Is Asbestos used?
Asbestos is used because of its desirable physical properties. Sound absorption, strength, fire resistance and, of course, low cost. It comes down to being small yet strong. While asbestos fibers are microscopic in nature, they are also durable. Fire and most chemical breakdowns and reactions have nothing on asbestos.
That’s why asbestos was used for so many years in both commercial and industrial industries. The sad thing is it’s not so much “used to” as “still.”
While the use of asbestos started to slow in the late 1970s once people started learning that it was dangerous, asbestos has not gone away completely. Not in the old pre-70’s houses that were built with asbestos products and definitely not in select industrial, consumer and automotive goods that are being manufactured in the United States today. Today, asbestos may be hiding in your:
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- Vinyl floor tiles
- Cement compounds
- Textile products
- Ceiling materials
- Roofing shingles
- Automotive parts
The issue is you can’t just go out and look for asbestos in your home, products or sometimes even in your place of work. You should never handle asbestos yourself and you should definitely take care to never disturb any place that you think may have asbestos (because asbestos becomes dangerous once it is disturbed and the asbestos fibers can be inhaled). What’s more, it’s not like either that old 50’s toaster from the junkyard sale or the brake pads in your brand-new car will come with a label: Danger, Asbestos!
And that’s a big issue. Because, well, it should.