Agricultural fillers are additives that are mixed in with polymeric compounds to alter their chemical makeup. Normally these fillers are created from refined plant materials like corn, berries, nuts, shell husks, and grains. Agricultural fillers have been utilized in the construction industry for a multitude of products involving the construction of residential and commercial buildings. These fillers were used most commonly for pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials, and floor tiles.
Agricultural fillers that contained asbestos were used in houses built before 1980—however, in 1977 the Consumer Product Safety Commission made it illegal for construction companies to use any products that contain asbestos
Asbestos is not hazardous to your health if it remains intact, but if it becomes damaged in such a way that releases asbestos fibers into the air and increases asbestos levels in homes, it can cause fibers to reach a person’s lungs, endangering the lives of people who live in those homes. Ongoing or prolonged exposure to any form of asbestos can increase the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma, as well as non-malignant and pleural disorders, including asbestosis, pleural plaques, pleural thickening, and pleural effusions.
In most cases, when asbestos fibers are inhaled, the majority of them are expelled, but unfortunately a few persistent fibers can get lodged in the lungs and stay there for the rest of your life. Over time these threads of asbestos accumulate, causing scarring and inflammation to the lungs. Extensive scarring and inflammation can affect your breathing as well as lead to other diseases.
Health problems from asbestos exposure can continue to worsen even after exposure is stopped. If you smoke or are exposed to cigarette smoke and have been exposed to asbestos, this greatly increases your chances of developing lung cancer.
Your chances of developing asbestos-related diseases are based on the amount of exposure to asbestos that you’ve had, as well as the amount of fibers that have entered your body. You are at high risk if you have been exposed repeatedly to asbestos in agricultural fillers, or other asbestos-laden products, over an extended period of time.