When And Why Exactly Was Asbestos Banned?

Just about everyone has heard of asbestos these days. It’s hard not to hear about it when every time you turn on the TV some big law firm is filing a class-action suit against some manufacturer of asbestos-infused products. It goes without saying that this leaves an incredibly bad impression on the material.

If you’ve heard anything about asbestos, you’ve likely heard that it is a dangerous material. Why? If it’s so dangerous, why was it so widely distributed? What kinds of dangers does it pose? These are all things you’ll need to know!

Asbestos And The Building Industry

To start, asbestos was widely infused with a whole host of building materials because it contained just the right properties. Along with being ruggedly durable and resistant the material is fire-resistant and comes with a high insulation value, making it the perfect additive for insulation, ductwork insulation, HVAC tape, shingles, and a whole host of other various building materials.

During the early 1900s and late 1980s asbestos was still being infused into a wide range of products. Ceiling tiles, pipes, and even flooring. It would still be extremely useful and viable if it was so harmful. Why is asbestos so harmful? During its rotation in existence, it was discovered that the material releases fibers into the air. These fibers, while they cannot be seen with the naked eye, do not naturally break down.

When inhaled into the airway, they rest on the lungs and eat away at the outer lining. You can imagine what kind of damage breathing in these fibers could do.

When Did The Bans Start

By now you can see why asbestos-infused products are so dangerous and why so many people were outraged by the selling and manufacturing of these products. And manufacturing was not a small thing. This material was rolled out in a whole host of building materials across 50 countries. So, getting it stopped was no easy task.

And what could be done about the homes and buildings that already contained loads of the material? This is why many home and building owners today find themselves dealing with such questions. To confuse the situation, even more, asbestos was never officially banned in the United States. The manufacturing of the material was stopped, but there were no official bans.

This was something that came until 2002. Despite this, there are still some manufacturers that use the material in fireproofing, friction, and roofing materials.

Asbestos And The Home Building Industry

Although official bans did not roll out until 2002, the government, OSHA, and the EPA did ask manufacturers to stop producing asbestos-infused building products. These requests started rolling out in the early 70s when the material was first discovered harmful. This little movement had a drastic impact on the building industry.

This is why most homes built after the late 80s likely no longer contain any asbestos-infused materials. The problem, however, was that companies were still legally allowed to sell the asbestos-infused products they currently had in stock at the time. They weren’t allowed to manufacture it or put it in buildings, but they could sell it.

What was going to happen to the materials that were sold? Why would people be purchasing these materials? Likely so they could install them. As you can imagine, this created a whole potential of other problems for the building industries, which eventually led to the official bans in 2002.

Asbestos And Popcorn Ceilings

One of the most recognizable building materials infused with asbestos is popcorn ceilings. Most buildings and homes contain popcorn ceilings, so you can already imagine how much of this product is in rotation out there in the world. Since it was so popular, the government set about immediately banning and removing the material. The EPA responded by issuing a ban in 1973 for popcorn ceilings infused with asbestos. The material could no longer be manufactured, sold, or installed.

Protect Yourself From Asbestos

Asbestos can be a nasty and formidable foe. However, just because your home contains some form of material with the product, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to be removed. It will eventually reach that point, but tackling the task without the proper foresight and planning could only potentially make the situation all that much worse and more dangerous.

Asbestos is like a lot of mold growths in which it doesn’t pose a threat until it starts releasing those fibers into the air. The material typically doesn’t release those fibers until it is disturbed. Simply put, when you attempt to remove the material, you will inadvertently cause it to release dangerous fibers. So, how does one go about safely removing it?

There are several ways to safely tackle removal, but the best is without a doubt turning to the pros. Let the people who have experience and know-how remove the material for you. That’s where we come in! Call our local offices to obtain more information or schedule your free in-home consultation today.

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