Many people mistakenly think that asbestos was banned and is now a thing of the past. While asbestos is not used as much in the manufacturing of building materials as it once was, it is still used today.
Many of the asbestos containing materials that have been manufactured and installed over the years are still in place. In fact, asbestos has been used for thousands of years in the manufacturing of over 3,000 products worldwide due to its strength, chemical resistance and fireproof qualities.
Many common household, commercial, and industrial building materials contain asbestos. It is important to know what building materials may contain asbestos in order to limit your potential for asbestos exposure.
Three Categories of Asbestos Containing Materials
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asbestos containing materials are materials that contain greater than 1% asbestos. These materials are divided into three categories: Surfacing Material, Thermal System Insulation and Miscellaneous Materials. Check out the EPA’s list of asbestos containing materials for a more comprehensive — although not exhaustive — list.
Surfacing material is defined as material that is spray or trowel applied; generally to ceilings and structural steel. This category includes:
- Ceiling texture (including stipple and popcorn)
Thermal System Insulation
Thermal system insulation is defined as materials used on systems such as boilers/steam delivery, chilled water, condensate returns and ductwork. This category includes:
- Pipe insulation
- Duct tape
Miscellaneous materials include any material that does not fit in the other two categories. This category includes:
- Drywall and drywall joint compound
- Acoustical or drop ceiling tiles
- Window glazing
- Caulks, mastics and putties
- Sink undercoating
- Exterior siding
- Felt Paper
- Roof flashing, tar and cements
- Metal roof paint
- Woven electrical insulation
- Cement water pipe
- Cement panels
- Resilient floor covering (vinyl tiles and vinyl sheet flooring)
How Branch Environmental Can Help
Don’t risk potential asbestos exposure by unknowingly disturbing asbestos containing materials in your home. Since 2000, Branch Environmental has been inspecting, assessing and abating asbestos. We have worked in homes, multi-family housing, schools, hospitals, government facilities, commercial buildings, and more.
Our team of experienced professionals possesses the knowledge and tools required to handle all of your asbestos related needs. Call us today if you would like to schedule an asbestos inspection, request an abatement estimate, or simply have questions regarding the potential for asbestos in your home or building.