You’ll Never Guess What Contained Asbestos

October 27, 2014

Most of us know that the barb-shaped asbestos fibers which cause deadly mesothelioma and other cancers could be found in numerous building products throughout the middle of the last century: the “popcorn” ceiling in your bedroom when you were growing up, the joint compound your dad sanded smooth when he nailed sheetrock panels to the bare studs to finish the family garage or basement, the perforated acoustic ceiling tile in your grandmother’s old kitchen or the nine inch by nine inch asphalt floor tile in the hallways of your high school.  Asbestos fibers were widely used in the construction industry because they not only provided sound and heat insulation, they also acted as a binding agent, giving any product superior strength and durability.

What amazes us are some of the more unusual commodities in which asbestos fibers could be found back in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. One can rationalize the manufacturer’s desire for additional strength or durability in some of these items; others simply defy logical explanation.

Here are a few unusual products in which asbestos could be found:

  1. In 1971, a major manufacturer included asbestos fibers in its medium grit sandpaper.
  2. From the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s, several big drilling companies injected asbestos fibers into the mud used to lubricate the gigantic rigs which ground deep into the earth’s crust in search of oil.
  3. In the mid-1960s, an Italian dressmaker wove asbestos fibers into a line of high-fashion raincoats which were sold in U.S. dress shops.
  4. A magazine catering to educators in the Great Lakes area printed an article in the early 1960s which encouraged kindergarten teachers to save money by combining flour, water and a “bag of raw asbestos fiber found at any hardware store” to make inexpensive modeling clay for their pupils.
  5. Ironing board covers and the stove mats on which our grandmothers stood to stir the soup for supper frequently contained asbestos fibers in the 1950s and 1960s.
  6. The black tarry adhesive used for gluing floor tile to substrate often contained asbestos, as did the black (and sometime silver) coating used as a roof cement.

A mesothelioma diagnosis means that you, or someone in your immediate family, was exposed to asbestos fibers at some point in his or her life. If you or your family member has been given a diagnosis of mesothelioma, contact Baron & Budd for a free and completely private legal consultation at (866) 538-0485.