Asbestos Insulation: Types, Manufacturers & Brands
Asbestos Insulation: Types, Manufacturers & Brands: Asbestos continues to be a health hazard for people in the US and many other countries. Those who know the disadvantages of this mineral can easily prevent from it.
But what for those who are still unknown or ignorant for it? Well, it may be because they are still unaware of the ill effects of asbestos.
In this blog post, were letting you know about asbestos insulation and how it can be dangerous for health of the common people.
Asbestos Insulation is still being employed at the construction sites. The use of this mineral is doing well for most of the places, but there are some places where it has become a real health hazard because of its complication.
Talking about asbestos insulation, please know that there are so many brands like Limpet, Kaylo and Zonolite that primarily contain 15% to 100% asbestos in them. Out of these, there are many types of asbestos insulation available today that constantly release harmful fibers in the atmosphere.
Some of these insulations that are known to produce such effects include spray-on, pipe wrap, loose-fill and more those are friable and have a tendency to easily release asbestos fibers back into the atmosphere.
What Is Asbestos Insulation?
Now, this is the biggest question that comes before mind when we have to discuss asbestos exposure. It's because asbestos insulation happens to be the biggest cause of its exposure to optimum levels.
Well, if you look in the past, asbestos insulation was the main source of asbestos exposure for all those workers who had to work through the entire 20th century. And till date, it continued to remain the most toxic mineral for the entire country.
In the past, asbestos was considered to be the best mineral for the construction purpose. It's mainly because nobody knew about its ill effects at that time.
Do you know that asbestos is basically a naturally occurring mineral that has a unique fibrous nature? And this is how the mineral gets cotton like consistency.
Now, what happens is that the space between the fibers simply slows down the heat transfer through this mineral so that it becomes extremely resistant to heat.
Another good role of asbestos in construction is that its fibers can be easily pulled apart. And this helps constructors to properly mix it with some other minerals or materials like magnesia. It helps to make different types of insulation material.
Now, if insulation was required, they simply make use of the asbestos. Earlier, most insulators were often use the term as asbestos workers as they needed to handle the mineral quite frequently.
What Are the Companies Associated with Asbestos Insulation
There are some well known brands that are involved to provide asbestos containing insulation
Thermobestos, Superex, Marinite, Air Cell
Armstrong Contracting & Supply
Limpet, Kaylo, Hi-Temp
Asbestos Insulation Manufacturers in the U.S.
· Combustion Engineering
· Armstrong Contracting and Supply
· Johns Manville
· Certainteed Corporation
· GAF Corporation
· Ehret Magnesia
· Kaiser Aluminum
· W.R. Grace
· Western MacArthur
· The Flintkote Company
· Shook & Fletcher
· Rock Wool Manufacturing
· Pittsburgh Corning
· Pacor Incorporated
· P. Green Industries
Asbestos Insulation Types
In general, asbestos containing thermal insulation is grouped into 4 different categories including spray-on, block, wrap and Loose-fill. Now, let's take a look at each of these asbestos insulations:
Spray-On Asbestos Insulation
Spray-on insulation was basically employed to reduce all the hard work required to apply fireproofing and insulation materials to structural beams, walls and ceilings.
If you wish to look at this type of insulation, you can see it in loads of huge commercial buildings where they coat the entire ceiling with a thick layer of grey material.
Now, coming to the point on the percentage of asbestos, please note that most of the time, these insulating minerals have up to 85% asbestos in them. Now, you can easily estimate the health of those working at places containing such a high level of asbestos.
What looks scary is that these products can easily be damaged and basically release a cloud of asbestos fibers into the atmosphere. And so, they can be the major sources of exposure, especially to those who are unaware of their health hazards.
If you look at the law in the US, these Spray On products are banned even if they contain up to 1% asbestos in them unless they are encapsulated with a resinous or bituminous binder at the time of spraying.
Asbestos Block Insulation
One of the better ways to insulate the wall of a building is to simply glue a slab of insulation to the material.
But in the past, these were made of mostly asbestos. And due to this, it created a major health hazard mainly due to the percentage of asbestos containing in them.
These products were heavily used for the insulation purposes as were also known as asbestos wall insulation.
Asbestos Insulation Wrappings
These can be easily found as an insulation covering material for ducts, pipes and other HVAC and plumbing components.
The main use of them happens to be in old buildings. Due to this, asbestos pipe insulation was also a well known health hazard for Navy ships for the last so many decades.
During 1980s, most such insulators were simply kept wrapped pipes and other asbestos related insulations which mainly a kind of cardboard basically made out of asbestos paper.
Sometimes, such kind of insulation becomes crumbly mainly because it releases huge quantity of asbestos fibers in the atmosphere. It generally happens when these materials are damaged in any way.
For example, such material known as asbestos wool insulation contains asbestos fibers that have a high tendency to get dispersed, if otherwise damaged due to any reason.
In the same ways, the fabric of old valve insulation jackets are also loaded with asbestos fibers that have a high tendency to disperse in the air due to any sort of damage.
Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation
Please note that Loose-fill insulation is basically designed to be blown into the hollow spaces or simply poured onto attic floors along with the building structures.
Please also know that Fluffy loose-fill asbestos insulation are mostly made using a toxic mineral,
These are extremely dangerous because even a single wave or current can disturb it and release the fibers into the air. This product was also known by term asbestos attic insulation.
Zonolite and Mr. Fluffy Insulation
One of the asbestos containing mineral used heavily is called Zonolite insulation. It was first originated in 1940s. The production of this mineral continued to thrive in the year 1960s when a leading company W.R. Grace acquired the brand.
Now, please note that Zonolite is basically a kind of loose-fill insulation which is made up of asbestos containing vermiculite. In earlier days, it was used as attic insulation in hundreds of homes in America.
Like many other harmful minerals, Zonolite was never intended to have the presence of asbestos. The vermiculite used in the product actually comes from a mine in Montana, Libby that was basically found contaminated with asbestos.
Zonolite is full of tremolite asbestos which is equally harmful like asbestos. It's known to cause the diseases even at a lower risk of exposure as compared to some other types of naturally occurring asbestos.
As per a study done in this regard, nearly 30 million homes in the US have still used this mineral in their attics.
Similarly, in Australia, another type of insulation known as Asbestosfluf attic insulation was found which was mostly sole in the year 1960s and 1970s by a brand known as Mr. Fluffy.
After knowing the harmful effects of this, the Australian government started taking some major steps in removing the material.
Now, after conducting a few tests in 2014, the government of Australia had to inform all those whose homes were heavily contaminated with asbestos or related products.
What Type of Diseases Asbestos Insulation Can Cause?
Asbestos is known to be a source of major illness like mesothelioma and asbestosis.
This happens mainly when small or microscopic asbestos fibers are exposed into the air. They accumulate into the body what are inhaled or swallowed in any way.
Once asbestos enters our body, it becomes almost impossible for the same to break asbestos due to this the body starts breaking up causing so many diseases.
The harmful mineral fibers of asbestos (once released in the air) cause a type of scare and inflammation including genetic damage to cells.
Asbestos insulation is known to cause the following diseases
Take a look at some of the following diseases that are bound to occur due to the exposure of asbestos:
Benign pleural conditions
For a very long time in the past, asbestos use continues to happen without knowing its ill hazards. But after the naturally occurring mineral was found to be extremely dangerous for the lives of human beings, it was banned in most countries, especially in the US.
In spite of that there are several places where you can find the use of asbestos continue to happen without any restriction.
Talking in technical terms, no construction work is allowed at places where the products contain more than 1% asbestos.
It was also known that asbestos exposure is generally caused where they are disturbed in any way. Even if they are not disturbed, they are expected to be harmful due to their own wear and tear with the passage of time.
However, in most cases, it has been found that asbestos releases its fibers into the atmosphere (when disturbed) and they become the cause of its exposure in real terms.
In fact, all the above diseases are likely to happen in such cases where a person has been found exposed with this naturally occurring mineral.
What are the Occupations at Risk?
There are several occupations that are prone to get the exposure of this naturally occurring mineral. Some of them are given below:
It also happens when families who are living in an old house and start new constructions.
Either families living in old homes or employees working in old commercial buildings, there are chances that old and aging asbestos insulation is disturbed through maintenance, wear and tear or renovation.
If you look at the asbestos insulation of old buildings, they are at risk, especially when construction or renovation works start. It's because they get disturbed and become the cause of its exposure.
It has also been noticed that asbestos related illness tend to affect veterans due to the extensive use of this mineral in military services.
Today, experts also warn those who like the idea of do-it-yourself renovations as this may become the cause of its exposure if proper precautions are not taken.
Compensation for Exposure to Asbestos Insulation
Even after experts warned that manufacturers should abandon the use of asbestos related products in construction, they continued to use it without looking at the health hazards associated with it.
Today, asbestos related victims are able to win hundreds and thousands of mesothelioma lawsuits against such companies.
You won't believe that many of them like Johns Manville and W.R. Grace were caught hiding all the regulations from the government in this regard in spite of knowing them.
· In September 2020, when a jury based in California awarded a sum of $2.5 million to a retired US Navy admiral who contacted mesothelioma working with asbestos insulation during his service time.
· In the year 1996, a sum of $3.5 million was awarded to the estate of Jesse Rivera who lost the life due to mesothelioma cancer. It all happened when Rivera was exposed to asbestos while working with Owens Corning.
· In 2009, a jury awarded a sum of $6 million to Dean Busatto and his wife right after they were diagnosed with mesothelioma. Busatto was employed at US Navy where he had to work with insulation jackets having high concentration of asbestos. These were made by Melrath Gasket Inc
In case, you are also one of the victims, you need to contact to an experienced mesothelioma attorney as they are expert in their own field and can help you in great way.
They can both review your case and advice if you qualify to file mesothelioma lawsuit and claims. You are expected to act accordingly.
How to Handle and Dispose of Asbestos Insulation
Those who act on the idea to disturb old lying asbestos insulation need to beware. In such cases, it's crucial to hire a proper licensed asbestos abatement representative to remove asbestos insulation.
It's because these materials fall in the category of extremely hazardous nature and should not be disturbed without proper knowledge and experience.
Secondly, please make sure the company you are going to hire for the work is properly licensed to perform asbestos abatement work.