Exposure to Asbestos

In a friable (easily pulverized or crumbled) form, prolonged exposure to, and inhalation of, asbestos can lead to major health problems, including mesothelioma. Because of a long latency period, signs of major asbestos-related health problems can take from between 10 and 50 years to develop after exposure. Unfortunately, this often means that the symptoms of asbestos-related diseases, which resemble those of other common illnesses such as colds, flu and heart ailments, are often ignored. The importance of catching these diseases at an early stage cannot be stressed enough with regard to successfully beating the major health problems that come from prolonged exposure to asbestos.

Today, most asbestos in the United States is imported. However, shockingly, the carcinogenic mineral is still used in a variety of products including:

  • Brake pads, clutch facings and other automotive components
  • Certain roofing materials and coating
  • Vinyl floor tile
  • Imported cement pipe, cement shingles and corrugated sheeting

Asbestos was widely used in the construction, shipbuilding and automotive industries, among others, until the 1980s. Many buildings and ships built before 1975 contain the following asbestos products:

  • Boilers and heating vessels
  • Cement pipe
  • Clutch, brake and transmission components
  • Conduits for electrical wire
  • Corrosive chemical containers
  • Electric motor components
  • Heat-protective pads
  • Laboratory furniture
  • Paper products
  • Pipe covering
  • Roofing products
  • Sealants and coatings
  • Insulation products
  • Textiles

Other home and building materials produced before 1975 that contain asbestos include the following:

  • Duct and home insulation
  • Fire protection panels
  • Fireplace artificial logs or ashes
  • Fuse box liners
  • Hair dryers
  • Toasters
  • Heater register tape and insulation
  • Joint compounds
  • Patching and spackling compounds
  • Pipe or boiler insulation
  • Pot holders and ironing board pads
  • Sheet vinyl or floor tiles
  • Shingles
  • Textured acoustical ceiling
  • Textured paints
  • Underlayment for flooring and carpets
Melaina WilkinExposure to Asbestos