Asbestos Guide – A Four Part Series

December 7, 2015  |  Mesothelioma

Guide to Asbestos Part IV: Asbestos in the Home (Today)

This is a Four-Part Guide to everything you need to know about asbestos. From what it is, to why it’s used to what the dangers are. Part I covers the What and Why of asbestos; Part II details the serious risks associated with asbestos; Part III goes over the 20th century boom in asbestos use and Part IV recaps on where we are today with asbestos use in America.
Since asbestos is so bad for us, you’d think asbestos would be banned in the United States. Right? Well, Asbestos has NOT been banned in the US.

Asbestos has been banned in over 40 countries in the world, including France, Spain and the United Kingdom — but not here. And we did have a ban on asbestos in place in 1991 in the United States, but that was overturned (you can thank the asbestos lobby for that one).

What that means is: Products than contain asbestos may still be manufactured and sold in the US today.

What’s more: there are still hundreds of thousands of buildings with asbestos in them that still exist today.

Here’s a wrap-up of asbestos in products and asbestos in the home below.

Asbestos in Products

Asbestos is mostly used in products used for the building and construction industry. As a rule, products can still be made with asbestos in the United States today as long as there is one percent of asbestos in the product or less. Such current products that you can buy “off the shelves”today that may still contain asbestos in them include:

  • Vinyl tiles
  • Automobile clutches and brake pads
  • Roofing materials
  • Corrugated sheeting
  • Cement piping
  • Home insulation
  • Potting soils

Asbestos in Homes

Don’t panic! Do not touch anything! And until you have consulted with an expert, treat anything you suspect to have asbestos in it as if it were infected with asbestos. That means: Leave it Alone —until you’ve spoken with an expert who can take charge of the next steps.

What’s more, you CAN NOT tell whether something has asbestos in it or not just by looking, you need to call in an expert who can advise you as to whether there is asbestos or not —and what the process would look like to keep you and your family safe from asbestos.

Asbestos may be found in a number of places within older homes across the country, including:

  • Steam and hot water pipes may have an asbestos blanket, tape or coating
  • Vinyl floor tiles or adhesives
  • Floors and/or walls around wood burning stoves may have asbestos millboard, cement sheets or paper
  • Textured paint or patching compounds on walls and ceiling joints may have asbestos in them if they were built before 1977
  • Roofing or siding shingles may have asbestos in them; just as the insulation inside of older houses may have asbestos in them, too

Those who are at most risk for exposure to asbestos through asbestos-laden products or older buildings may be those working in construction, in demolition, as boilermakers, pipefitters, handymen, first-responders or any volunteer or worker who may come into contact or disturb asbestos in older buildings or in their place of work.

But let’s not forget our families.

Protecting our families from asbestos is just as important now as it ever was, for those who both may encounter asbestos in their place of work or in their homes. We encourage you to share this guide with those you love. Let’s learn everything we can about asbestos and how to prevent our exposure to it — that’s the key to a safer future.

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