While there are some countries that have completely banned asbestos from use, the United States is still not one of them. The rationalization is that, by heavily regulating the use of asbestos, consumers can continue to benefit from products that contain asbestos while mitigating the risk.
Unfortunately, even with all that regulation, not all asbestos-containing products have a warning label. There is still no known amount of “safe” exposure to asbestos. The dangerous inhalable fibers can cause mesothelioma and other related illnesses even with only minimal exposure.
Products that do not need labels
Since asbestos is a naturally occurring substance, it is possible that a product could contain some level and no one would know about it. But what about products that are known to contain asbestos but contain no warning?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), there are two circumstances where products known to contain asbestos do not need a label. Warning labels are not required when:
- There is a small amount of asbestos. Products containing less than one percent asbestos by weight do not require labeling.
- It contains sealed asbestos fibers. If the asbestos fibers are contained in a material that will prevent their release during “reasonably foreseeable” uses, the product does not require labeling.
Current ongoing uses for asbestos
With these considerations in mind, preventing exposure to asbestos gets more complicated. Responsibility rests on you, the consumer, to know the products that could contain asbestos, but do not have a label on them.
For a long time, asbestos was found almost everywhere. The substance was inexpensive and fire-retardant. Asbestos may not be as widely used, but it is still found in a lot of products that you may use such as:
- Brake pads and linings
- Roofing materials
- Cement sheeting
Exposure to asbestos
Whether you are tackling projects around the house or on your vehicle, there are many products that contain asbestos. Since some of them may not contain warning labels, be careful with any product that has the potential for containing these dangerous fibers.