Asbestos in Rope Exposure and Risks

Asbestos in Rope Explained

One of the primary qualities of asbestos is its resistance to fire and heat. Asbestos-containing rope is one of the very few asbestos-containing products still in production today.

There are 2 types of rope that contain asbestos:

  1. Asbestos Rope: Used in construction as gaskets, this kind of rope sealed the space between two adjacent surfaces. A lot of workers in this profession may have been exposed to asbestos on a daily basis.
  2. Asbestos Fiber Rope: Used in the heavy machinery industry as a way of insulating pipes and boilers, asbestos fiber rope was commonly used with sealing, caulking and thermal installations.

Asbestos Rope Manufacturing is Ongoing

One company still in existence is HITECH. Their asbestos ropes can withhold a maximum temperature of 842 degrees Fahrenheit.

Those using such products are advised to wear specific safety equipment—such as face masks and overalls—to avoid breathing in excess asbestos dust or carrying it home on their clothing.

Asbestos ropes are made from long chrysotile (white) asbestos fibers, which account for 95% of all asbestos used in the US. Asbestos rope can also be used as insulation, primarily to seal and protect pipes, boilers and heated objects to prevent fires.

Who Was Exposed to Asbestos in Rope?

Workers in the construction industry are most in danger of coming into contact with asbestos-containing rope. There are better safety procedures these days to protect workers. But before the 1980’s, construction workers were rarely given any equipment to protect them against asbestos.

Many construction workers would work and travel home wearing the same clothes, meaning that any asbestos fibers that had circulated in their work area throughout the day could also end up in their homes. The tiny asbestos fibers are notorious for sticking to clothing hair and shoes, which put workers’ families in danger of exposure as well.

Workers involved in manufacturing the ropes themselves could also have been in danger of coming into contact with asbestos. These factories would have typically have been very dusty environments. Companies who still make asbestos rope today are bound, by law, to have safety procedure in place to protect their employees.

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Health Risks of Asbestos in Rope

Before the 1980’s, asbestos was used in countless industries. However, after a number of health reports and deaths—particularly in Libby, Montana, where the most infamous vermiculite/asbestos mine was situated—it was officially deemed dangerous by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Asbestos Exposure Is the Only Known Cause of Mesothelioma

Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the membrane that lines certain organs. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, the tiny fibers pierce the lining of the lungs, chest or stomach and, eventually, tumors may form.

Mesothelioma symptoms can take up to 50 years to develop. Once diagnosed, mesothelioma patients require specialized treatment plans to help improve the poor prognosis that comes with mesothelioma.

Those who worked with asbestos-containing rope in the past may be at high risk of developing mesothelioma. The longer you worked around asbestos and the higher quantities to which you were exposed, the greater the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.

Seeking Justice for Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare disease, but many people are being diagnosed with the condition as a direct result of working with or around asbestos-containing products. People who were exposed to asbestos rope in the workplace or at home may be eligible for legal compensation.

If you have recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma and believe you were exposed to asbestos from products like rope, contact our Justice Support Team today. Call us at (888) 360-4215 or request a FREE Mesothelioma Justice Guide to understand how you may have been exposed.

View Author and Sources
Sources
  1. Asbestos rope. Retrieved from: http://www.hitechsealing.com/asbestos-ropes.html. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  2. Asbestos rope. Retrieved from: http://www.shreefirepackindia.com/asbestos-rope.html. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  3. 7 products you won't believe were made with asbestos. Retrieved from: https://www.airsafe.net.au/news/7-products-you-wont-believe-were-made-asbestos. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  4. Rope seals and gaskets. Retrieved from:http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/essentials/rope-seals-gaskets.htm. Accessed September 1, 2018.

Last modified: September 12, 2018