Asbestos in Electric Wiring Insulation
Asbestos can be found in everything from asphalt, cable and clay to sheets and yarn. It can also be found in common building materials such as electrical wiring insulation. Electrical wiring insulation is the electrical wiring that can be found in every home, office building or warehouse. In the past this wiring was insulated with asbestos. Those at risk are individuals that worked with electrical wiring insulation either in manufacturing or building, and even people who have asbestos-containing electrical wiring in their offices, commercial spaces, and homes. Fortunately, electrical wiring insulation that is manufactured today does not contain asbestos.
Products that contain asbestos can still be found in the United States and according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), nearly 10,000 asbestos-related deaths still occur across the nation each year. While asbestos is no longer a common building material in America, this dangerous substance can also still be found in thousands of different products and materials – industrial or otherwise. It is important to note that asbestos had been used in more than 3,000 products from 1900-1980.
Asbestos in Electrical Cloth
Electrical cloth is used to insulate electrical wiring. This way, if a short were to occur, the electrical cloth would not catch on fire due to the flame retardant properties of asbestos. However, once the dangers of asbestos were made known, electrical cloth was made out of non-toxic materials.
All of the years of asbestos electrical cloth exposure, however, have had negative effects on certain members of society. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to numerous health problems including various forms of cancer and pleural effusion. Pleural effusion occurs when extra fluid accumulates in the area around the lungs. This can be extremely painful and cause additional health problems.
Asbestos in Electrical Panel Partitions
An electrical panel partition is used to keep electrical components safe and away from the possibility of damage. Asbestos was used in panel partitions because of its fantastic properties as an insulator. Asbestos is also highly flame retardant and heat resistant, making it the likely choice for electrical panel partitions at the time.
However, today, electrical panel partitions are no longer made from asbestos and are still effective as safe products. This is because in the 1970s, most asbestos products were banned and industries were barred from developing new products containing the material.
Even so, there are still asbestos-containing products out there, including electrical panel partitions. Some people just don’t know that certain items contain asbestos. Other times, it’s a lack of updating that keeps asbestos products in people’s homes. Whatever the reason, it is vital that you understand the significant danger of being near asbestos, even if it doesn’t seem dangerous.
What can exposure to asbestos do, exactly? It depends on the shape the asbestos is in during exposure. If it is in good condition, it is a relatively slim possibility that you will inhale any fibers. However, if the asbestos product is friable—meaning hand pressure can break it apart—then you have a problem. When asbestos is friable, it can easily be inhaled, causing a significant amount of exposure to the dangerous fibers.