Asbestos insulation was used extensively in building pipes and roofs between the 1930s and 1970s. Asbestos was popular because it’s durable, flexible and almost indestructible. Some estimate that 1.2 billion square feet of asbestos insulation can be found in 190,000 buildings in the United States. In the late 1970s, asbestos insulation production was stopped after asbestos was linked to lung cancer and Mesothelioma.

Where is Asbestos Insulation Used?

Asbestos insulation is used in buildings and homes to insulate pipes and furnaces. Asbestos insulation may also be used to fireproof or soundproof a room or building. The type of asbestos used for insulation is called Chrysotile (or white asbestos) and is the least toxic asbestos form.

Asbestos insulation is not visibly different than non-asbestos insulation. To differentiate between the two, a certified inspector must analyze collected samples in a certified testing laboratory.    

Is Asbestos Insulation Dangerous?

Asbestos Insulation is not dangerous if the asbestos covered pipe or roof is in good condition. If asbestos insulation is not fraying or crumbling, then it is safe and should not be disturbed.

Asbestos insulation becomes dangerous if it starts wearing off or if it begins to produce dust. These dust molecules may contain asbestos fibers that can cause serious injury if inhaled. Asbestos insulation that starts to fray or produce dust should be covered by plastic sheets or plywood.

Installing and Removing Asbestos Insulation

Installing and removing asbestos insulation can be very dangerous. It should only be done by a certified asbestos expert. Studies revealed that asbestos insulation installers are 92 times more likely to get sick than workers in other occupations.

Exposure to asbestos insulation fibers is linked to:

  • Mesothelioma (a rare cancer that affects the linings of various organs in the body)
  • Asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • Lung cancer 

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If you or a loved one has been injured by exposure to asbestos insulation, please contact us today. 

Published November 17, 2011 by