Asbestos-Containing Products Still Pose Dangers
Asbestos fibers are strong, durable, and resist heat, acids, and friction. They are virtually indestructible. Because of these useful physical properties, asbestos fibers were often combined with other materials for use in thousands of industrial, maritime, automotive, scientific, and building products. The following list shows the wide range of materials that could contain asbestos:
- Insulation (Pipe, boiler, corrugated air-cell, breaching, and block insulation; HVAC duct insulation; sprayed-in insulation; blown-in insulation; thermal paper products; electrical wiring insulation)
- Fireproofing/Acoustical Texture Products (includes acoustical plaster, decorative plaster, textured paint or coatings, fire blankets, fire curtains, fire doors)
- Textile and Cloth Products (includes blankets, protective cloth coverings, garments, asbestos gloves, threads, cords, yarns, braids)
- Spackling, Patching & Taping Compounds (includes caulking, putties, joint compounds, adhesives, tapes, thermal taping compounds)
- Gaskets and Packings (includes high-temperature gaskets, packings for industrial products, high-pressure packing, asbestos packing reinforced with steel or copper wire)
- Asbestos-cement Pipe and Sheet Material
- Tiles, Wallboard, Siding, and Roofing (includes roofing shingles, roofing felt, base flashing, cement wallboard, cement siding, ceiling tiles and lay-in panels, asphalt floor tile, vinyl floor tile, vinyl sheet flooring, flooring backing, vinyl wall coverings)
- Friction Materials (automotive and railroad brakes and clutches)
- Vermiculite (used in some horticultural potting mixes, brake pads, acoustic tiles, insulation)
- Laboratory hoods and tabletops
Asbestos may also be found in elevator brake shoes, elevator equipment panels, ductwork, electrical panel partitions, electrical cloth, cooling towers, and chalkboards (Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Guide).
Asbestos Consumer Products
Asbestos has been used in home appliances (coffee pots, toasters, irons, popcorn poppers, and crock pots) and in portable heaters, portable dishwashers, wood-burning stoves, and gas-fired decorative logs. Until 1980, asbestos was contained in most handheld hair dryers. These are but a small sampling of the thousands of products that contained asbestos.
Many of these asbestos-containing products are still in use. Some older appliances, including toasters and irons, have even been collected as antiques. But their frayed electrical cords, asbestos-covered electrical and heating elements, and asbestos-containing insulation pose dangers to consumers and to the home “do-it-yourself” repairman. See Consumer Products for more details about the hazards of asbestos-containing consumer products.