Glassbestos is an old insulation product made from a combination of glass and asbestos. Like asbestos, glassbestos makes great insulation because it is fire resistant, durable, and versatile. In addition, glassbestos is extremely resistant to rot. Glassbestos is different from glasbestos, which is a combination of fiberglass and asbestos. However, both glassbestos and glasbestos have similar properties. 

Glassbestos was in use through the 1950s and 1960s, a period during which there was a huge building boom. As a result, many structures built in that era contain glassbestos insulation. In some buildings, the glassbestos insulation has been removed and replaced with non-asbestos insulation. However, in many buildings, glassbestos insulation still exists.

Glassbestos Health Hazards

Glassbestos that is in good condition is not dangerous. However, when glassbestos is cut, sawed, or damaged, it creates a health hazard. Particularly, when glassbestos damaged, it becomes “friable,”? meaning tiny asbestos fibers can be released into the air. When floating in the air, asbestos fibers can be inhaled by those nearby, and may eventually cause asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis or mesothelioma.

Reducing Glassbestos Health Risks

Because damaged glassbestos can emit asbestos fibers into the air, trying to remove old glassbestos is dangerous. In fact, leaving glassbestos insulation in place is often safer than removing it. As a result, the best way to deal with old glassbestos is to leave it alone or cover it up, where possible.

Because disturbing glassbestos can cause asbestos fibers to be released into the air, removing glassbestos should be a last resort. When glassbestos insulation is damaged and it cannot be covered up, a professional glassbestos abatement company should be used to remove the glassbestos. In addition, after professionals remove the glassbestos, the building should be left unoccupied for a while so that any floating asbestos fibers can settle.

Glassbestos Tape

In addition to insulation, glassbestos was used to make glassbestos tape. Glassbestos tape was used to insulate pipes for many years, until it was banned a few decades ago. Today, many buildings still have glassbestos tape wrapped around the plumbing and heating pipes. These buildings may include:

  • schools, including elementary, middle, junior high, and high schools
  • homes
  • office buildings and other workplaces
  • libraries
  • theaters
  • gymnasiums and recreation centers

Exposed to glassbestos? Contact our experienced attorneys to learn more about your legal rights and options.

Published November 17, 2011 by