Asbestos Containing Products That Don’t Require Warning Labels
Asbestos-containing materials are primarily used in construction and insulation, but they may also be found in many types of consumer goods. While intact, asbestos is not a hazard, but if disturbed, an individual could develop mesothelioma or lung cancer if repeatedly exposed to airborne asbestos fibers. Most Americans may think the federal government banned all asbestos-containing materials and products. That is not the case. Some asbestos-containing products do not even require warning labels.
Asbestos use in the U.S. is regulated but not banned altogether. Some asbestos-containing products, such as flooring felt, spray-on insulation, pharmaceutical filters, and paper, have been banned. Several products are legally allowed to contain asbestos, and most of them are construction materials.
Asbestos Regulation History
1973 – The EPA banned spray-applied surface asbestos-containing material used for fireproofing and insulation.
1975 – The EPA banned installing asbestos pipe and block insulation on boilers and hot water tanks if the materials are molded ,friable, or wet-applied and become brittle after drying.
1978 – The EPA banned spray-applied surfacing materials not already banned.
1977 – The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned asbestos-containing wall patching compounds and artificial fireplace embers.
1989 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tried to ban asbestos-containing products under The Toxic Substances Control Act. The ban was overturned in 1991 by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
1990 – The EPA banned new uses of asbestos, the manufacture and import of flooring felt, and the spray-on application of ACM containing more than 1% asbestos. The EPA also added a labeling requirement.
1996 – The EPA added corrugated paper, roll board, commercial paper, and specialty paper to the manufacture and import ban.
Certain asbestos-containing products such as asbestos diaphragms, sheet gaskets, oil-field brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brakes and linings, vehicle friction products, and gaskets are still sold in America.
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1001(j)(4)(i) requires building owners to label previously installed asbestos-containing materials with affixed labels or signs so that employees will be notified of the location of hazardous asbestos-containing materials. Under Federal Law, it is illegal to wholesale, distribute, or manufacture asbestos-containing building material that is not labeled. Business owners must place labels in a prominent location on the exterior wrapping of Asbestos-containing building material or products placed for storage, shipment, and sale.
Asbestos-containing building materials must have a legible label that clearly identifies them as containing asbestos. However, the law doesn’t require manufacturers to affix warning labels to the products if they are less than 1percent asbestos or don’t release asbestos fibers during reasonable future use.
The media has reported manufacturers for importing or using asbestos-containing products and exposing workers and consumers to deadly asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos litigation has been ongoing since the early 1980s. Due to a latency period of 20 to 50 years for symptoms of asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma, litigation is not likely to end soon. Manufacturers have paid out large sums in legal settlements and damages to people who have contracted asbestos-related diseases. People exposed to asbestos can hold companies legally responsible for their negligence and file a claim through the courts or an asbestos trust fund to recover medical expenses, lost income, and other related expenses brought on from an asbestos disease.
If you or a family member contracted or passed away from an asbestos-related disease, you should seek legal counsel from Goldberg Persky and White P.C. today.
“EPA Actions to Protect the Public from Exposure to Asbestos” S. Environmental Protection Agency. [link]
“National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants-Part 6, Subpart M.” Code of Federal Regulations. (July 1, 2011) [link]
Consumer Product Safety Commission. [link]
Environmental Protection Agency, Subpart H, Section 763 (2011), [link]