Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once widely known and used for its amazing properties like heat-resistant, fire-resistant, chemical-resistant, electricity-resistant, anti-corrosive, adsorption, high flexural strength, high tensile strength, and high flexibility. These properties were enough to make asbestos a popular choice for construction, electronics, and automotive industry. Sadly, with these amazing characteristics, came a deadly cancer! YES! Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that releases carcinogenic fibers in its surroundings. Carcinogens are cancer causing substances just like tobacco in cigarettes. Prolonged exposure to asbestos causes lung cancer called mesothelioma. These fibers if and when inhaled can get trapped in the lungs of a person causing scarring or inflammation. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is a fatal cancer with no cure.
After the dangers of asbestos became known, it was banned in many countries. After that many alternatives came into picture.
Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives below, and if or not they are better!
Fiberglass is a type of reinforced plastic which is made from tiny glass fibers. It is durable, strong, versatile, and is lightweight in nature. It is most commonly used for insulation as it is electricity-resistant. The best part is that it has no health risks associated with it. Thus, fiberglass is a popular choice in the construction industry.
Boat & Marine Industry
Pipes & Tanks
HVAC Ducts & Systems
Polyurethane foam is a type of artificial foam widely used because of its durability, versatility, and insulating properties. It is created through a chemical reaction between polyols (alcohol-containing compounds) and isocyanates (compounds containing the isocyanate functional group). While the production of polyurethane foam may require careful supervision, the final material is totally safe to use. Thus it beats asbestos and is both way cheaper and healthier.
Sealing and Air Barrier
HVAC Duct Insulation
Mineral wool is a material made from naturally occurring minerals. It is an excellent thermal insulator, has fire-resistant properties and is great at sound proofing buildings. Unlike asbestos it is 100% safe for the workers and the inhabitants of a building where mineral wool has been used. Additionally, it is cheaper than asbestos. This makes mineral wool a popular choice in the construction industry.
Soundproofing and Acoustic Treatment
Thermoset Plastic Flour
Thermoset plastic flour can be used to create components such as brake linings that require thermal and wear-resistant properties. This would offer a safer alternative to asbestos-containing brake linings. Unlike asbestos, which poses serious health risks, thermoset plastic flour does not present the same health hazards associated with asbestos exposure. By using fillers like wood flour, the cost of the material can be reduced while still maintaining its desired properties.
Automotive Brake Linings
Electrical Insulation Components
Industrial Gaskets and Seals
If you suspect asbestos in your home or workplace, immediately contact a professional as it is extremely dangerous to handle asbestos on your own. One such expert at handling asbestos is Ridaway. Professionals at Ridaway are EPA approved, state licensed and insured, use industry grade technology, and guarantee 100% asbestos removal.