Which products contain asbestos, and how do I know if I have been exposed?

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Warning for area containing cancer-causing substance asbestos If you have recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you probably have a lot of questions and fears about your condition, including how you acquired it and what the treatment and prognosis of your disease will be.

For some people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, taking legal action against the party responsible for the exposure to asbestos—the only proven cause of mesothelioma—makes sense.

If you are suffering from mesothelioma but are unsure of its origin, the following guide—and our experienced mesothelioma attorneys—may be able to help.

The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Connection

The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Asbestos may also cause lung cancer.

Asbestos is a collection of minerals that naturally occur in the environment. Because the nature of these minerals makes them resistant to heat, fire and many chemicals, the minerals were once popular in building materials. In fact, the NCI reports that asbestos was used in buildings as far back as the late 1800s.

However, asbestos was banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the late 1970s. The building materials that may contain asbestos are discussed in more detail below.

Products That Contain Asbestos

Asbestos was most commonly used in the construction and building industries. However, it is occasionally found in other industries as well.

It was used primarily for the purposes of fireproofing, insulation, roof and sound absorption. Specifically, products that have been found in the past to contain asbestos are:

  • Roofing products made from asbestos cement, such as Gold Bond Corrugated Roofing, Century Asbestos Corrugated Roofing, Panelstone Asbestos Cement Sheeting, and others.
  • Side shingles made from asbestos cement, including Ambular Corrugated Roofing and Siding, Transite Corrugated Roofing and Siding, and others.
  • Building insulation such as Zonolite, Hi-Temp, Gold Bond, and others.
  • Ductwork connectors made by companies such as Johns Manville, Celotex, Nicolet, and others.
  • Textured paint.
  • Acoustical and decorative plaster.
  • Wall and ceiling patching compounds.
  • Ceiling tiles and lay-in panels.
  • Ashes and embers manufactured for gas fireplaces.
  • Stovetop pads.
  • The floors and walls surrounding wood burning stoves which may have asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets.
  • Vinyl floor tiles, sheet flooring and wallpaper made by companies such as Sears-Roebuck, Amtico Floors, GAF Corporation, and others.
  • Felt flooring such as Hydrocord Flooring Felt, Fiberock Felt, FlexFelt, and others.
  • Asphalt floor tiles.
  • Hot water and steam pipes.
  • Oil furnaces.
  • Coal furnaces and door gaskets.
  • Vehicle brakes pads, clutch facings, and gaskets.
  • Gaskets used to seal pipes and machinery such as Chempro Gaskets, Palmetto Folded Asbestos Packings and Gaskets, Target Gasket Sheet, Melbesto Superheat Gaskets, and others.
  • Cigarette filters in the Kent Micronite cigarette which was sold in the United States from 1952 through 1956.
  • Children’s cosmetics sold by Claire’s.
  • Electrical panels and wire installation including Deltabeston wires, Ebony Electric Boards, Bakelite Panels, and others.
  • Fireproofing spray including Monokote, Cafco, Limpet, Spraycraft, and others.
  • Molded plastics made by companies such as Armstrong World Industries, Mobile Oil Corporation, Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, and others.
  • Textiles including things such as aprons, canvas, carpeting, fire curtains for theaters, gloves, ironing board covers, prison cell padding, upholstery and more. Brand names include Therm-A-Gard, Fire King Protective Clothing, 3M Rubber Coated Asbestos Cloth, and many more.
  • Construction adhesives such as Hydroseal, Stic-On Cement, Armorcote Adhesives and others.
  • Cement pipes, wallboards, and siding.
  • Laboratory equipment such as hoods, tables, and gloves.
  • Elevator equipment panels and brake shoes.
  • HVAC duct insulation.
  • Boiler insulation.
  • Heating and electrical ducts.
  • Chalkboards.
  • Thermal paper products.
  • Fire doors.
  • Caulking and putties.
  • Joint compounds.
  • Spackling compounds.

If you live in an older home or have worked in an industry where exposure to the above materials was common, then you may have been exposed to asbestos. This is especially true if any of the above materials were disturbed, causing the asbestos to enter the air. Inhaling asbestos is particularly dangerous.

Common Work Environments Where Asbestos Is Found

As mentioned above, those workers who have worked in the construction or building industry may have been exposed to asbestos—particularly if building new homes or buildings prior to the year 1970. However, construction workers who performed home or building remodels or demolition on older homes after 1970 may also have been exposed to asbestos.

Other workers who may have been exposed to asbestos include those who were employed in the manufacture or distribution of asbestos-containing products such as insulation, textiles and building materials and workers who were employed in automotive brake and clutch repair work, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Other Possible Causes of Mesothelioma

The American Cancer Society reports that other possible risk factors for mesothelioma include:

  • Zeolites. Zeolites are minerals that are chemically related to asbestos. They are found in the rocks and soil of certain geographic areas, specifically in the country of Turkey.
  • Radiation. Evidence indicates that those persons who are exposed to high amounts of radiation are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma, the ACS states. For example, patients who have been treated with radiation therapy may be at a higher risk.
  • SV40 virus. Evidence also suggests that those who have contracted the SV40 virus (simian virus 40) may also be at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma. However, this belief has been illustrated only in laboratory studies involving hamsters.

A person may also be more at risk for developing mesothelioma if he or she is of an older age. Two-thirds of persons who develop mesothelioma are older than the age of 65.

Mesothelioma is much more common in men than it is in women, although this is believed to be mostly due to the fact that men more commonly are employed in industries where exposure to asbestos is common.

How Do I Prove That My Mesothelioma Was Caused by Asbestos Exposure?

If you believe that your mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos, you may have a claim against the responsible party—be it your employer or the manufacturer of an unsafe and asbestos-containing product.

To prove that your mesothelioma was caused by asbestos exposure at work or elsewhere, a thorough investigation is necessary. You need a legal team on your side that has the resources to conduct an exhaustive and in-depth investigation that demonstrates how your mesothelioma would not have incurred but for your exposure to asbestos in a particular location.

If you are not sure if you were exposed to asbestos, a mesothelioma and asbestos attorney can help you to find out.

Reach Out to an Experienced Mesothelioma and Asbestos Attorney Today

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our experienced Louisiana mesothelioma and asbestos attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, Attorneys at Law, are ready to work with you to help you to explore your recovery options. We are ready to get to work on a contingency fee basis. You won’t have to pay any legal fees until after your claim is settled. Please call 318.541.8188 at your earliest convenience or fill out our contact form online for a quick reply.

Richard J. Arsenault
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Recognized by several legal associations, Richard Arsenault has vast experience in complex litigation cases.