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Uses of Asbestos

Asbestos is one of the most useful products to specific industries because it is so versatile. There are six forms of asbestos material that are naturally occurring. The six include hrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophylitte and actinolite. Undisturbed, these forms of asbestos are non-toxic. When mined, they are usually bundled and mixed with some sort of binder during the process.

Most Common Forms Used

Although every type is of some use to the working world, the three most commonly used forms are chrysotile, amosite and amosite. The most significant amounts of asbestos used around the United States were chrysotile because of its placement in the construction of buildings. The others were used in high temperature operations such as fire resistant materials and ceiling tiles. If any of the forms are combined, they are more dangerous to an exposed person than if they were used in the single form.

Asbestos Locations

Before the recognition of health problems associated with exposure, most asbestos was use in the form insulation. This was the most efficient way to use asbestos because of its heat and fire resistance. Millions of homes built in the United States before 1970 were presumably built with asbestos material. Eventually, schools and offices used asbestos in their insulations as well. Asbestos insulation goes beyond the typical locations. Some others include irons, microwaves, fire doors, and pipes. All of these products are able to use asbestos insulation because of their need of fire resistance.

Other industries, however, took its versatility to its advantage. Certain locations and products include the following: shipyards, construction sites, vinyl flooring, fume hoods, stucco, and cement siding and fire retardant products. Unfortunately, workers of these industries were not aware of the side effects that their exposure to asbestos would lead to. In some industries, supervisors and owners were aware asbestos hazards and did not inform their workers. This topic is under serious debate and severe repercussions are being created for the negligence of those individuals.

So, where is asbestos used today?

The uses of asbestos today are becoming more and more non-existent. Most companies who have buildings containing asbestos have opted for different insulations alternatives. These alternatives include but are not limited to: polyurethane foam, cotton and nitrogen-based plastic foam. The health and safety of workers and those who come in contact with workers of asbestos are of the utmost importance to supervisors and company owner’s alike. This type of consciousness about asbestos and its removal helps with lowering death liabilities to companies because of those who acquire lung-related illnesses from asbestos exposure.