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Asbestos and Building Materials

Asbestos was most commonly used in building materials. This was mainly due to the special properties asbestos has that made it an obvious choice for building construction. Asbestos is very strong, lightweight, resistant to chemical destruction, does not conduct heat or electricity and is fireproof. The fibers can also be woven into textiles. At the time, it seemed like a dream material.

Because of its prominent use in building materials, many of the individuals who would later become victims of asbestos related cancers such as mesothelioma were construction workers. These workers held, manipulated and, sadly, breathed in large amounts of asbestos while:

  • Insulating buildings, pipes or boilers
  • Roofing
  • Fireproofing
  • Soundproofing

Use of Asbestos in Modern Building Materials

There is a common misconception that all asbestos-containing building materials were banned under the EPA’s 1989 Toxic Substance Control Act. Much of the ban was overturned in 1991 in the Fifth Circuit court of appeals. While asbestos remains banned from corrugated paper, roll board, chemical paper, specialty paper, flooring felt and any new products, it is still allowed in certain other construction materials.

Many individual corporations have made their own decision to not allow these products to be used in their construction projects, but construction workers should take it upon themselves to make sure that they are not using dangerous asbestos-containing products.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding possible asbestos exposure during construction projects, fill out the contact form on the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Help Center web site.

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