Asbestos Found in Products Today
Asbestos is banned in over 55 countries, including Japan, Australia and all countries in the European Union. The ban was imposed because asbestos causes inflammatory diseases like cancers of the lung, ovaries, larynx, testes, and gastrointestinal organs.
Despite health risks associated with asbestos and a massive effort to regulate and remove the use of asbestos from structures and products across the U.S., the mineral is not banned in the U.S.
It is legal to make products with less than 1 percent asbestos in the U.S. According to the CDC, current uses for asbestos in the U.S. include:
- Automobile clutches
- Brake pads
- Corrugated sheeting
- Imported cement pipe
- Roofing materials
- Vinyl tile
Asbestos Remnants From Previously Manufactured Products
Asbestos was used extensively until the 1970s in the construction, shipbuilding, and automotive industries. Asbestos could be found in some of the following items:
- Boilers and heating vessels,
- Cement pipe,
- Clutch, brake, and transmission components,
- Conduits for electrical wire,
- Corrosive chemical containers,
- Electric motor components,
- Heat-protective pads,
- Laboratory furniture,
- Paper products,
- Pipe covering,
- Roofing products,
- Sealants and coatings,
- Insulation products, and
Some of these materials remain in many buildings, ships, and automobiles built before 1980.
Asbestos Contaminated Vermiculite
Until 1990, vermiculite contaminated with amphibole asbestos was produced from a mine in Libby, Montana. The vermiculite was processed at 245 sites around the country and distributed nationally.
Vermiculite currently used in potting soil is asbestos-free. However, many homes still have this contaminated vermiculite insulation in their attics.
Asbestos Products Shipped to Western Countries
Asbestos is no longer used in most Western nations. However, Belarus, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Syria, and Zimbabwe still include it in various products. Inevitably, asbestos-containing products are shipped to Western countries.
Asbestos in Your Home
Asbestos found its way into millions of homes, and by 1980, floor tiles, pipe insulation, block insulation, roofing, ceiling tile, taping compounds, cement, and plasters all contained the deadly carcinogen. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that up to 35 million schools, homes, office buildings, and other structures contain asbestos materials. Even though asbestos can be found in buildings over 40 years old, the carcinogen does not pose a health threat unless the fibers become exposed and airborne. Common household materials and structures have the potential to become a hazard in the event the asbestos is disturbed by a natural disaster. Fire, flooding, earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes can damage structures, rip apart houses, destroy buildings and break down floors, ceilings, drywall, etc.in a way that would release asbestos fibers into the air creating a health hazard for all those nearby.
Despite decades knowing asbestos exposure dangers, companies withheld, downplayed, and have ignored the issue. The first mesothelioma lawsuits paved the way for modern asbestos litigation. It’s a journey toward compensating those injured by asbestos that the Goldberg, Persky & White law firm has been a part of since the beginning. Contact us today!