While asbestos can be found in many homes, from construction materials to home appliances, these uses were, until its ban in after the court cases of the 80s and 90s, on purpose. Asbestos was used in building and appliance construction due to its heat resistance and insulation properties, meaning you could find it in anything from popcorn ceilings to oven linings. However, there have been some items that contain asbestos by accident, and this contamination happens long before materials reach the factory.
Asbestos Contaminated Mines
As we’ve talked about in the past, asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. And when it comes to mineral and metal deposits, mother nature can be messy. Asbestos and other mineral have similar conditions for formation, which can lead to asbestos being unwittingly dug up alongside desired materials. This was the case in the infamous Libby, Montana mines that brought toxic asbestos dust to the town that affect hundreds of people.
Contaminated Vermiculite Insulation
The above Libby mines were vermiculite mines. While pure vermiculite is non-toxic, asbestos is often found with it, as they both form in the same geological process. Much like asbestos, vermiculite is heat-resistance and lightweight and was used in many products, most famously attic insulation. And because the Libby much of the US source of vermiculite and vermiculite asbestos tests only became common in the 1990s, many of these older vermiculite insulations contain asbestos. If your home contains vermiculite loose-fill insulation, you should get it tested for asbestos immediately.
Contaminated Talc Products
Much like in vermiculite mines, formations of talc can also contain asbestos. While in the US regulations were put into place in 1973 to make talcum powder asbestos-free, many other countries still do not test or regulate talc that contains asbestos. This leads to issues such as in 2015 when the EWG (Environmental Working Group) Action fund found traces of asbestos in several brands of crayons and amateur crime lab kits that had been imported into the US and around the world.
Here at Fiber Control, Inc., we’re dedicated to creating a safer environment one building at a time. If you have concerns that your property may be contaminated by asbestos or contain asbestos construction materials, reach out and contact us. We provide full asbestos abatement services using the best procedures and practices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.