Why Is Asbestos Manufacturing Now Banned?

If you’ve heard of asbestos, you’ve no doubt heard that it is extremely bad for you. Otherwise, they wouldn’t bother banning it, right? If asbestos was so harmful, why was it used in the first place? What makes asbestos so bad and potentially harmful? These are all great questions and probably ones you are asking yourself as you read through this. Some might even be asking themselves what exactly is asbestos. All great questions and answers any building owner can benefit from knowing.

Asbestos In The Building Industry

As like likely already know, asbestos was infamous in the building industry. There was a time when it was infused with a whole slew of materials. It was infused with shingles, duct tape, insulation, siding, ceiling tiles, and a whole host of other practical building materials. During the early 1900s and late 80s, you couldn’t find many building materials that didn’t contain the material. Why? Well, manufacturers didn’t know the threat that it posed, but it was the material’s unique properties that made it so sought-after. It was not only fire retardant, but it offered excellent insulation properties coupled with extreme resilience. In all honesty, the industry could still benefit from the material and its properties today if it didn’t pose such hazardous health risks.

When Was Asbestos Officially Banned?

Asbestos was not only extremely sought-after in the United States, but it was highly used in the UK, Australia, Canada, and many other places. While many of these countries made early moves to ban the popular building material, it was until later that the United States made its move. When you look at the medical stats and potential dangers surrounding the material, it is truly astonishing why the US didn’t move quickly to ban the manufacturing of the material. It wasn’t until 2002 that the US banned its manufacture. Despite this ban, the material is still highly used in some buildings as a fireproofing material. Some asbestos-infused materials have been banned completely, while others have been limited and reduced in usage. If the material is so potentially dangerous why would the state still allow limited production?

Asbestos Officially Banned In The Housing Industry 

The dangerous and potential health risks of asbestos became clearly apparent in the early 70s. Thanks to this discovery, the sale, manufacturing, and usage of asbestos-infused materials were limited drastically. It was because of this that if you purchase a home manufactured after the 80s it will likely be completely asbestos-free. The 70s was when the EPA and OSHA started realizing the potential health risks related to the building material. Even though this was the official case, there were exceptions made regarding the official bans. For instance, after the bans became official, the governing agency still allows the sale of these asbestos-infused materials that were already in prior rotation. Asbestos was such a popular building material by the early 70s that it was being infused with most building materials. The products containing the material were so plentiful and ample that it would have been nearly impossible to do away with them all. And this is not to even mention the effect that a complete ban on the substance would have on the economy and building industry. There was simply too much of it in rotation and too much already produced to destroy outright. Instead, the governing asbestos agency limited its sale and use while halting manufacturing and production completely. Asbestos is still not entirely banned today, although it only contributes to about 1% of the current building industry.

Asbestos And Popcorn Ceilings

One extremely popular building material that asbestos was infused with was popcorn ceiling tiles. Just about every home or building contains a popcorn ceiling. That’s just how popular this specific design is. Of course, today’s newer homes contain popcorn ceiling designs that are totally asbestos-free. It was in 1973 that the EPA officially banned the manufacturing of these tiles. However, there were still installed up until the 90s sometime. Simply put, if your home was built before the 90s and contains a popcorn ceiling, you’ll want to have it tested for asbestos.

Safeguarding Yourself Against Asbestos

The risks of asbestos are far and wide. You can see as the government has done its part to reduce potential exposure, there is still too much of it out there to completely eliminate the threat. The best way to limit potential exposure is by learning as much as you can about the material and how to properly handle it. Better yet, homeowners and building owners alike are much better off by letting the pros handle the material. There are safe ways to remove and dispose of this material. There are also companies, like ours, that now specialize in the removal and safe destruction of this material. Let us do the dangerous and hard work for you! Our work is always backed with a guarantee and a friendly smile. Call today to schedule your free in-home consultation.

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