If you are a building owner, restaurant chain or retailer performing tenant improvements, renovations or demolition projects, you should care. Although the asbestos buzz may have fizzled out in the late 1980s, many building owners and retailers are under the impression that asbestos has been banned for years. Not true.
Asbestos is not just a notorious building material whose use peaked in the 1940s. In spite of its well-documented carcinogenic properties, asbestos is still alive and well today. The following commercial product categories can be manufactured, imported and sold in the U.S.: asbestos-cement corrugated sheet, asbestos-cement flat sheet, asbestos clothing, pipeline wrap, roofing felt, vinyl-asbestos floor tile, asbestos-cement shingle, millboard, asbestos-cement pipe, automatic transmission components, clutch facings, friction materials, disc brake pads, drum brake linings, brake blocks, gaskets, non-roofing coatings, and roof coatings. Much of the asbestos used in the U.S. is imported from Canada and Mexico. Many imported asbestos products may not be labeled “asbestos” but rather as “asbestos-cement”, “cellulose fiber-cement”, or “contains chrysotile fibers.”
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