ASBESTOS - INFORMATION
Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance asbestos has been used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a
So it has been widely used in the construction of residential and commercial structures.
Asbestos Floor Tile
The most infamous vinyl floor tile is the 9” x 9” variety which was a popular size during its peak and is typically associated with being an asbestos-containing material. The more modern 12” x 12” vinyl floor tiles may also contain asbestos if installed prior to the late 1970s.
The vast majority of 9” x 9” floor tiles do contain some asbestos, typically in the 1-5% and sometimes the 5-10% range.
In rare cases, the 9” x 9” tile did not contain asbestos. In cases where the tile is not asbestos-containing, one item that is overlooked is the underlying glue also known as mastic.
Mastic that is black in color is a “primary suspect” for asbestos-containing materials much like the 9” x 9” vinyl floor tiles.
Old black mastic often contains 1-5% asbestos. The black mastic was eventually superseded by yellow and clear based glues, which in rare cases may also contain asbestos.
Asbestos Attic Insulation
Asbestos Vermiculite loose-fill insulation is one of the most common household materials that contains asbestos.
Vermiculite insulation has a pebble-like appearance and typically is a grayish-brown or silvery-gold color. It is made from a natural mineral material that is mined from the earth.
Asbestos Pipe Insulation
Asbestos was long considered an ideal material for almost all types of insulation, until its cancer-causing effects were revealed to the public.
Even in its soft form, asbestos is extremely resistant to heat, and the air between the fluffy mineral fibers slows down the transfer of heat through the material.
Asbestos Duct Insulation
When metal ducts are wrapped with asbestos insulation, the ACM is on the outer surfaces, not exposed to the air stream within the ducts, providing little or no opportunity for contamination of the circulating air. ... However, if the ducts become punctured or torn, asbestos fibers can be released into the air stream.
Asbestos is dangerous because it has the ability to break down into microscopically thin fibers. Once lodged in the lung tissue, these fibers can cause several serious diseases, including lung cancer, asbestosis (a scarring of the lung tissue) and mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lung cavity).
Exposure to loose asbestos fibers can cause lung disease such as mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer. The naturally occurring,
flame-retardant mineral fibers are too small to identify without a microscope, so don't believe anyone who claims you have asbestos but hasn't done testing.
Many homes built before 1980 contain asbestos in old floor tiles, ceiling tiles, roof shingles and flashing, siding, insulation (around boilers, ducts, pipes, sheeting, fireplaces), pipe cement, and joint compound used on seams between pieces of sheetrock. Some newer houses may also contain asbestos.
In 1977, the U.S. Government banned the
use of asbestos in ceiling finishes, and most ceilings installed after this date will not contain asbestos. It is still possible, however, that materials manufactured before 1977 were installed in homes after the ban.