Asbestos Products That May Surprise You

Share this post

Asbestos Products That May Surprise You

For decades, the abundant, naturally occurring mineral known as asbestos was heavily used in manufacturing due to its durability and heat-resistant properties. This made it a natural solution for insulation in extreme temperatures — usually in industrial settings where “blue-collar” tradespeople worked.

In over 50 years of representing clients with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses, the attorneys of Serling & Abramson, P.C. have learned that asbestos isn’t just a danger to industrial workers: Asbestos products are also used by everyday people, causing exposure that can lead to severe illness and even death.

Read on to learn some about some of the surprising products where asbestos is still found — and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

What Health Risks Are Caused By Asbestos Products?

While asbestos has been linked to other forms of cancer, the 3 most prominent illnesses caused by asbestos exposure are:

  • Scientists are in agreement that virtually all cases of mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos. While this aggressive form of cancer is relatively rare, heavily industrialized states like Michigan have a disproportionately high share of cases.
  • Lung cancer. Inhalation of asbestos fibers has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer in many medical studies. The size of the dose, the duration of exposure, and the chemical makeup of the asbestos fibers are all factors that can affect your risk level.
  • This lesser-known respiratory disease is caused when the inhalation of asbestos fibers causes scarring of the lung tissue, resulting in shortness of breath and pain. Asbestosis can also lead to the development of mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Asbestos Products: Still A Threat

The process of reducing asbestos use in the U.S. has been long and slow. It wasn’t until the 1970s, decades after asbestos was known to cause cancer, that the U.S. government took steps to regulate and reduce its use. In 1989, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) ordered a ban on over 90% of products containing asbestos, but it was overturned.

In March 2024, a ban on importing and manufacturing products containing chrysotile asbestos was formally enacted in the U.S. However, companies have 12 years to comply with the ban, during which time they can continue to use, manufacture, and import this dangerous substance.

Everyday Asbestos Products You May Still Encounter Or Have In Your Home:

  • Automotive goods. Many vehicle parts that experience friction contain asbestos, including brake pads, clutches, and gaskets. It was also used in hood liners and valves.
  • Beauty products. Makeup and cosmetics may contain talcum powder that was contaminated by asbestos, since talc (used in talcum powder) is often mined nearby.
  • Home goods. Potholders, placemats, kitchen countertops, sports equipment, Christmas decorations, crayons, and many other items that claim to be heat-resistant contain asbestos.
  • Appliances. Older ovens, hairdryers, and toasters used asbestos for its heat-resistant properties.
  • Miscellaneous products. You may be surprised to learn that asbestos can be found in everything from bowling balls to shotgun shells, fax machines, and more.

What To Do With Asbestos Products In Your Household

Simply handling these consumer products can stir up tiny asbestos fibers that can be breathed in and lead to asbestos-related illnesses. If you suspect you have older asbestos products in your household:

  • Avoid handling them and carefully dispose of them as soon as possible
  • When purchasing replacement products, check warning and product labels

“Layered” Exposure

An additional cause for concern: Incidents of asbestos exposure can be “layered” on top of one another. For example, a plumber who is exposed to asbestos fibers at work may also work on cars as a hobbyist, handling asbestos products like clutches and brakes — thus getting a double exposure that can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer, and more.

New Legislation — And Where To Get Help

While the U.S. may be moving slowly to counter the harmful effects of everyday asbestos products, the Michigan-based law firm of Serling & Abramson, P.C. can move quickly if you need help. If you or a loved one think you’ve been harmed by asbestos exposure, there are many reasons to contact Serling & Abramson, P.C.:

The Time To Act Is Now

There is a limited amount of time for people who develop an asbestos-related diagnosis to pursue damages. Don’t let the clock run out — contact us for a review of your case free of charge. We can help you get financial restitution for your losses and suffering, including money for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering