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Modern Uses of Asbestos

Since the 1970’s, the general public has been aware of asbestos’s connection to major illnesses like lung cancer and mesothelioma. Some doctors and corporations uncovered this information even earlier than that. In light of this, many people just assume that asbestos is no longer used for the sake of public safety. Unfortunately, this assumption is not entirely correct.

While asbestos has been regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency since the early 1970’s, the US is one of few modernized countries without a total asbestos ban. In fact, the EPA does not monitor the production or distribution of products made with asbestos at all. The Agency recommends that people inquire about asbestos before purchasing any materials that may contain it.

Asbestos Bans

The following uses of asbestos are currently illegal in the US:

  • Spray-on materials with more than 1% asbestos
  • Wet-applied and preformed asbestos insulation
  • Corrugated, commercial, and specialty paper
  • Rollboard
  • Flooring felt
  • Any use of asbestos invented after the Toxic Substances Control Act was passed

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also placed limits on the amount of asbestos workers can be exposed to. If you work in a field where you may be exposed to this substance, especially construction or sailing, contact your state’s OSHA to learn about your rights.

Asbestos Today

Even today, asbestos can sometimes be found in products like:

  • Brake pads, blocks and linings
  • Certain kinds of cement
  • Any product or building made before the 1970’s
  • Roof and floor tiles
  • Essentially any asbestos product that has not been specifically banned

For the safety of yourself and your family, it is very important to be educated about the risks of asbestos exposure that continue to exist today. Before purchasing building materials, particularly cement or insulation, you should always research the manufacturer to make sure their products are safe.

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