Little Known Sources of Asbestos

When you hear about asbestos, you probably think it’s not a very common substance that is used today. After all, it’s known to exist in older homes because of its fire-resistant properties, but since 1990, that’s no longer a common practice in the construction industry. Although, many developing countries around the world still use asbestos without the same regulations that we have in North America.

But that doesn’t mean asbestos is no longer used at all. There are several ways that asbestos squeezes its way into some of the products and materials that some people use each day.

Very Common Products That Contain Asbestos

From construction materials to everyday items we use around the house, asbestos remains part of the manufacturing process while sticking to the strict regulations on its use. That means, for trace amounts of asbestos in a product, manufactures are still in compliance with current acceptable practices.We keep an eye on these things as a Red Deer asbestos removal company.

Products with Asbestos:

  • Adhesives for roofing sealant, duct tape, glue for flooring, wall panels, ceiling tiles, and fixtures.
  • Duct connectors that put together your HVAC system within your home.
  • Electrical components like sheathing, wire insulation, and cable wrap.
  • Felt for roofing, flooring, and paper mills.
  • Fireproofing materials such as firefighting equipment, specialized paint, and spray-on fireproofing.
  • Gaskets for heat-resistant seals in machine parts and engines, including valves and hoses.
  • Tools, cookware, appliances, vehicles, and notably, brake pads.
  • Insulation from loose fill to pipe wrap to acoustic tiles.
  • Materials that produce protective clothing and upholstery.

Why is Asbestos in So Many Everyday Items We Use?

Asbestos was primarily used to produce fireproof cloth prior to the 1800s, but with the industrial revolution, asbestos became more widely used in a growing number of industries.

The reason for the rise in sources of asbestos is due in large part to its durability when it comes to heat resistance, as well as electrical and chemical corrosion.

It is also very easy to work with and manipulate as asbestos can be pulled apart to create a wool-like consistency in a fibrous form. Not to mention, asbestos is extremely abundant globally and easy to extract from the ground.

Before the start of the 20th century, massive asbestos mines were operating around the world to feed the growing demand for this inexpensive material to find uses in construction and insulation products.

This led an even larger production spike during the first and second world wars when shipbuilding and machinery took over until the post-war building boom.

Asbestos Today

While technologies have allowed our society to move past mass asbestos use because of its health risks that can lead to fibromyalgia and even death, the material is still used in small quantities throughout the United States for certain asbestos products. These include brake pads and gaskets. The majority of the developed world has banned the use of asbestos entirely, however. The building construction industry is no longer using asbestos, so while we are not completely free from the health risks of asbestos fibre inhalation, the risks today are quite low.