Uses of Asbestos, Asbestos Uses
Continued from: About Asbestos
- pipe and duct insulation
- building insulation
- wall and ceiling panels
Uses of asbestos include a wide range of products, primarily for heat and sound insulation, roofing and flooring. Some of the most common asbestos uses were:
- roofing materials
- patching and spackling compound
- brake pads and lining
- toasters and other heat-related household items
- floor tiles
- furnaces and furnace doors
The most common persons afflicted with asbestos-related diseases, such as malignant mesothelioma, are construction workers, automobile mechanics, pipe fitters and ship builders.
Some uses of asbestos have been banned. Spraying of asbestos materials was banned in 1973. Certain pipe coverings, patching compounds, and artificial fireplace logs were banned in the mid 1970s. In 1979, sprayed-on asbestos decorations and asbestos-containing hairdryers were banned.
Anyone at risk of asbestos exposure is at risk of becoming ill. In fact, no safe level of minimum exposure has ever been established for asbestos. Many of the first cases with the diagnosis of mesothelioma were persons who never directly handled asbestos as part of their jobs. An early case in South Africa occurred in a young girl whose job it was to empty the pockets of miners before dry cleaning their clothes. The asbestos dust in the miners' pockets made her fatally ill.
Continued: The Shipyard Connection
[Page updated May 2006]