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Asbestos is a mineral fiber found in rocks, and it is virtually indestructible fiber with excellent thermal/heat-retardant qualities. The three types of asbestos fibers that are commonly used are Amosite, Crocidolite, and Chrysotile. Because of its strength and thermal qualities, asbestos fibers are used as a binder and fire retardant in many building products, including acoustical ceiling tiles; thermal insulation of boilers and pipes; steel fireproofing; asbestos cement boards, and pipes and more. Asbestos fibers are a health threat when inhaled.  The microscopic fibers can become lodged in the repertory system and lead to asbestosis or scarring of the repertory tissues. Asbestos containing materials (ACM) are considered hazardous when they are friable.  Friable simply means that the material is fragile and can release asbestos fibers into the air. Because of the health risk associated with asbestos, its use in building materials was banned in 1978.

Asbestos

Asbestos

Products that may contain asbestos are: ​​

​Automotive

  • Brake shoes and pads
  • Clutch facings
  • Body fillers
  • Mufflers Transmissions components
  • Undercoating Gaskets

Appliances

  • Hair dryers
  • Electric blankets
  • Popcorn Poppers
  • Toasters Gaskets
  • Cement Asbestos
  • Shingles Piping
  • Sheets

Electrical

  • Cable and wire insulation
  • Motor components
  • Burner components 

Building Materials

  • Acoustical tile
  • Wallboard
  • Shingles
  • Siding
  • Roofing felts and tiles

Insulation

  • Rock wool
  • Oven
  • Dishwasher
  • Heating pipe
  • Boilers
  • Furnaces
  • Ductwork

Textiles

  • Ironing board covers
  • Laboratory aprons
  • Auditorium or movie curtains
  • Fire hoses; protective suits and gloves
  • Fire Blankets
  • Welding hoods

Coatings, paints, sealants, etc.

  • Asphalt
  • Drilling fluids
  • Tile adhesives
  • Plaster and stucco
  • Caulking, patching, buffing and polishing compounds

Miscellaneous

  • Kilns
  • Blackboards
  • Candle sticks
  • Phonograph records
  • Fire doors
  • Baking sheets
  • Ash trays
  • Ammunition
  • Outdoor movie screens
  • Beverage filters
  • Light bulbs and sockets
  • Marine caulk
  • Thermal heat shields
  • Acetylene cylinders
  • Fume hoods
  • Laboratory table tops
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Cancer

The staff at the Asbestos & Mesothelioma Cancer Resource Center have kindly provided us with the following article about Mesothelioma.  

Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure and is most commonly found in the outer lining of the lungs called the mesothelium. A majority of the people who develop mesothelioma contract this cancer through breathing in asbestos fibers or being exposed to asbestos dust while on the job. In cases where mesothelioma is found in a person with no previous occupational exposure, it is surmised that the exposure may have stemmed from asbestos fibers found on the clothes of someone in their home who worked in an area where asbestos dust was found.

There are a number of reasons that make diagnosing mesothelioma in its early stages extremely difficult. The symptoms of mesothelioma can have a latency period of anywhere between 20 to 50 years after the initial asbestos contact, which means by the time the symptoms begin to show, the cancer is already within its advanced stages. Once symptoms are present, diagnosis is still not a speedy process. There are a number of diseases that mirror the symptoms that are found in mesothelioma patients and because of this mesothelioma is often the last stop.

The success of treatment for mesothelioma is dependent on the stage in which the cancer is found. Most mesothelioma is not discovered until the advanced stages, mesothelioma treatment is often referred to as "unsuccessful." Studies show that when found within either stage I or II, treatment for mesothelioma—usually with a combination of radiation and chemotherapy—is successful in extending the patient's life for five years at a rate of 74.6%. There are also alternative forms of therapy that can be used in conjunction with conventional treatments and have been shown on occasion to decrease the size of mesothelioma found in a patient.

Asbestos was used for many years in a wide array of household and industrial products because of its unique properties. It is fireproof and can also be used as an insulator, making it very popular during the Industrial Revolution. It is unknown whether or not people were aware of the dangers of asbestos fibers at that time, but by the 1900's the risk of asbestos was becoming more obvious. People who lived in mining towns would develop lung problems, and general studies showed that asbestos workers died at a young age. Asbestos, in an undisturbed state, seems to pose no threat. However, as soon as it becomes damaged and airborne, the fibers are able to be ingested, thus potentially leading to these or other health problems. Although some companies were aware of this danger, they continued to work with products containing asbestos with no regard to their employees. These blatant injustices are the reason for the popularity of mesothelioma in the field of litigation.

Visit www.asbestos.com for more information.

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