Asbestos lagging was widely used for many years and can still be found in many buildings. Lagging is a type of insulating material used to cover plumbing pipes, boilers, and various metal machinery parts. Before asbestos exposure was linked to severe and fatal diseases, contractors installed asbestos lagging in thousands of buildings in the Unites States. Since 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned the use of asbestos containing materials, including asbestos lagging, in new buildings.

Forms of Asbestos Lagging

Asbestos lagging can be sprayed on or woven into material. In addition, asbestos lagging may contain anywhere from 50% to 100% asbestos.

Asbestos lagging takes several forms including:

  • asbestos lagging adhesive
  • asbestos lagging tape
  • asbestos lagging cloth

Why Asbestos Lagging was Used

Asbestos was thought to be an ideal material for lagging for several reasons. First, asbestos’s heat resistant properties protect pipes and boilers from overheating. In addition, long and flexible asbestos fibers can be tightly wrapped around pipes and boilers. Moreover, asbestos is cheap and asbestos fibers are very strong and do not easily break down.

Where Asbestos Lagging Can Be Found

Asbestos lagging can be found in HVAC systems (heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning).Asbestos lagging tape was used to prevent airflow leaks in heating ducts and vents. HVAC technicians applied asbestos lagging tape in the corners, cracks, and crevices of system ducts.

Asbestos lagging tape was popular because it was extremely durable and could protect HVAC systems for a long time. Asbestos lagging tape was applied to thousands of HVAC ducts and units in the United States before it was banned from use. 

Asbestos Lagging Dangers  

Asbestos is dangerous when its fibers are released into the air and inhaled. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they remain permanently lodged in the body and can cause severe and fatal diseases, such as:

  • mesothelioma (a rare cancer that affects the lining surrounding the lungs)
  • asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • lung cancer
  • esophageal, stomach, colon, or rectum cancer

Asbestos lagging releases its toxic fibers when it is damaged or disturbed. The asbestos lagging installed in buildings and HVAC systems years ago, may now be in poor condition and crumbling. Because most workers do not wear protective clothing or gear, many workers may inhale asbestos fibers when repairing the crumbling asbestos lagging.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been injured by asbestos lagging, please contact us today as you may be entitled to compensation to learn about your legal rights.

Published November 17, 2011 by