Top Ten Building Materials Containing Asbestos

Asbestos testing in St. Louis is essential. The health-hazardous building material has been widely used in the area as an incredibly popular building material. It offered durability and resistance to heat, water, and chemicals, but construction teams and others who worked with the material have borne the brunt of the health issues that continue to emerge.

While many asbestos products are now illegal in the United States, many old structures and stored materials contain this harmful substance. If you want to take the right safety precautions when working with asbestos, testing in St. Louis helps you minimize your risk of exposure. Below, St. John Environmental Consulting lists the Top Ten building materials that could contain asbestos.

What Are Asbestos-Containing Building Materials?

Asbestos appears in myriad building materials because it increases durability, supports flexibility, and provides the structure with extra strength. Some of the materials you might find with asbestos include insulation and roofing, boilers, adhesives, fireproofing material and cladding sheets, and even some older styles for floor tiles. If you are unsure, rather call our professionals in for affordable asbestos testing in St. Louis.

Asbestos-Containing Building Products

Current regulations in the United States allow traces of asbestos in certain products if they exhibit clear labels for “asbestos-containing” products. However, renovations or demolitions on older buildings will need careful asbestos testing; St. Louis and the surrounding areas particularly need this service on their existing structures. Here are ten common asbestos-containing products in the United States:

1. Transite

Transite cement is fireproof and incredibly durable, thanks to the asbestos in the mix. It appears in cement piping, siding, roofing, gutters, drainpipes, and even HVAC piping. Transite causes asbestos exposure through renovations, demolitions, and ordinary wear and tear, especially for outdoor uses.

2. Gaskets

It’s natural to go for gaskets that create the strongest, most airtight, and waterproof seal possible between pipe pieces, valves, and other components within piping systems. Gaskets feature in almost any mechanical device, including cars, industrial machinery, and household appliances, and adding asbestos increased resistance to heat, chemicals, and deterioration to increase their lifespan and usefulness. Old vehicles and appliances might still have this substance, even though the manufacturing of asbestos-containing gaskets stopped in the 1980s.

3. Insulation

Most insulation still contains at least some asbestos for flexibility and strength, whether they are loose-fill, spray-on, or block insulation sheets. Regulations state that insulation may contain less than 1% asbestos, so even modern insulation contains traces. Older buildings in St. Louis have many problems with asbestos-containing insulation, especially when owners need to replace or reinstall the material.

4. Fireproofing

If your St. Louis building needed fire-retardant material before the 1980s, asbestos was a popular fireproofing additive. It featured in textiles and the construction industry and still appears in the fireproofing within many older buildings.

5. Floor Tiles

The resilience and durability of asbestos made it extremely common as a tiling material, either independently or as a vinyl floor tile additive. Builders stopped using pure asbestos floor tiles in the 1970s, and the vinyl industry stopped adding asbestos to its products around the same time. In St. Louis and the surrounding areas, many older homes contain their original tiles and can pose a health hazard if these materials contain asbestos—testing St. Louis homes and businesses will quickly uncover these potential risks.

6. Roofing Materials

Asbestos in roofing materials increased durability and fireproofing capability, but storm damage and weathering posed serious hazards while releasing asbestos particles into the air. Modern roofing doesn’t contain asbestos, but older homes need a thorough evaluation by St. John Environmental Consulting.

7. Cladding Sheets

As cladding ages, it can start to crumble. If the sheets contained asbestos for fireproofing and durability, this crumbling would release the substances into the air and pose a significant health risk. If you haven’t replaced cladding in the last 50 years, be sure to call us for professional asbestos testing in St. Louis or the surrounding areas.

8. Boiler or Tank Insulation

Builders used asbestos-containing insulation called Zonolite for boilers and tanks. It increases efficiency, and even modern insulation may contain small amounts of asbestos. Be sure to take precautions when working on a boiler, tank, or insulation in general.

9. Adhesives

Builders would often mix asbestos into cement, adhesives, and mastics to improve flexibility and strength. The use of asbestos-containing adhesives is still permissible under 1% asbestos, so it is best to be aware of the implications or undertake asbestos testing in St. Louis during construction or renovation work.

10. Caulking

Caulking, or construction mastic, is a paste. It typically contains asbestos fibers, even in modern caulking. As with most asbestos-containing products, the danger from older building materials is much greater, and our professionals warrant caution.

Reliable Asbestos Testing—St. Louis

Asbestos continues to pose health and safety concerns for construction workers and residents or employees in older buildings. If you have these Top Ten building materials, you will want to be sure that they do not contain the levels of asbestos that could damage your lungs if released into the air.

Don’t risk your quality of life; call St. John Environmental Consulting at 314-853-4668 today for affordable asbestos testing in St. Louis and the surrounding areas.

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