Asbestos Duct Wrap

Asbestos Duct Wrap

Asbestos Duct Wrap

Asbestos was a popular building material in which its unique fibrous structure made it ideal for insulation and fireproofing. Most buildings and homes built before the 1980s contain asbestos insulation in the walls and attic. HVAC system ductwork, registers, and pipe systems may have been wrapped with asbestos duct wrap. It was not until the 1970s that medical science linked exposure to asbestos materials with deadly lung diseases and cancers.

What is Asbestos Duct Wrap?
Asbestos duct wrap is a group of building papers made of asbestos that was for insulation and fire prevention. This paper was usually applied to the exterior of metal heating ducts as an insulating wrap in buildings before 1970.

The HVAC industry used asbestos paper duct wrap or lagging cloth woven with asbestos to line and insulate building heat and cooling pipes and to repair or seal heating duct joints. The pipe wrapped with asbestos duct wrap was white asbestos paper that looked like corrugated boxboard. Asbestos duct tape was a white cloth, sticky thick tape used to wrap the joints and seams.

Asbestos is a toxic material to cause cancer and many other incurable diseases affecting the digestive system, lungs, heart, and reproductive organs. The symptoms mimic other conditions and may not be noticeable for decades after asbestos exposure. In most cases, victims of the disease were exposed to asbestos for extended periods in the workplace or the home. Lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis are all caused by asbestos exposure.

Friable vs. Non-Friable Paper Duct Wrap
Asbestos should not be a threat unless they are “friable” and disturbed so that they are released into the surrounding air.

Asbestos duct wrap on HVAC system ducts is not likely to release asbestos fibers into the air system unless the ductwork is disturbed or damaged. Asbestos is only hazardous if it is torn, cut, shredded, damaged, or likely to be disturbed. Any work activity such as duct repairs, drilling, cutting, or cleaning could damage or disturb the material and release asbestos fibers into the air. If the HVAC system is in operation at the time of disturbance, asbestos fibers could be released through the system, causing a hazardous air situation throughout the home or building If asbestos materials are disturbed without proper containment and cleanup, an additional evaluation of the asbestos material may be needed.

Asbestos Duct Wrap Still Poses a Health Risk
U.S. ductwork and HVAC product contractors stopped using asbestos-woven fabrics, paper, and tapes in the 1980s. However, some older homes may still have ductwork wrapped in flexible asbestos tape. Homeowners and trade workers who interact with duct systems risk developing mesothelioma or another life-threatening asbestos-related disease.

Victims of Asbestos Exposure Should Seek Compensation 
Treatment for individuals diagnosed with asbestos-related medical conditions can reach significant financial sums over extended periods. Insurance may not cover all your financial needs. There is a time limit after diagnosis of the disease for filing a lawsuit against an asbestos product manufacturer to seek compensation for your asbestos-related illness.

Consult our experienced professionals at Goldberg, Persky & White P.C. if you have any questions on asbestos duct wrap. Our experience in asbestos-related injury litigation can help you seek damages to help pay for medical care and family needs.

Sources: 
Friedman Daniel, “Asbestos Paper Wrap on Air Ducts Identify Asbestos Duct Insulation & What To Do About It” InspectAPedia®  [Link]
Holladay Martin, “Asbestos on Forced Air Ducting” Green Building Advisor (2011)  [Link]
“Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?” United States Environmental Protection Agency [Link]
“Protect Your Family from Exposures to Asbestos” United States Environmental Protection Agency [Link]
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