One of the biggest sources of asbestos contamination in homes and office buildings is insulating mix. During the seventies, when the construction industry was experiencing a boom, millions of tons of asbestos were used in housing materials. One of these materials was insulating mix, and the most renowned brand of that time was HiTemp pipe covering.
During the seventies, when many people were exposed to asbestos, this insulating mix was used for a variety of purposes – in boiler room pipes, basement pipes, factory pipes and insulating purposes. As the construction business grew, more and more people were exposed to asbestos fibers from the insulating mix, and today, thousands of these have either been diagnosed with or have died from asbestos-related mesothelioma.
While asbestos by itself is not dangerous, it develops harmful properties when it turns friable, i.e. when it is broken down into particles that can disperse in the air. Thousands of workers who worked at the company that produced this brand of insulating mix, Philip Carey Manufacturing Corp., were exposed to these fibers. The machines that were used to produce the insulating mix caused millions of particles of asbestos fiber to be dispersed into the air.
The workers weren’t the only ones affected by the deadly particles. Once the insulation mix had been manufactured, it had to be distributed to retail outlets. Remodeling and home improvement contractors, who made use of asbestos insulating mix in their construction projects, formed the second tier of people susceptible to asbestos exposure.
The last tier of asbestos victims consisted of the home owners themselves who unknowingly spent decades of their lives in a house that, even if it did not have visible asbestos components, was still harboring asbestos in the interiors of the building.
As a disease, asbestos related mesothelioma is not only hard to diagnose, which makes it more lethal, but it is also debilitating and excruciatingly painful. It has a slow onset and sluggish progress, and is caused when the particles of asbestos that have been inhaled form a hardened plaque on the lining of the lungs, called the pleura. This is also the reason why mesothelioma is also known as pleural mesothelioma. The hardened plaque makes it difficult for the person to breathe. Inhaling and exhaling takes more effort, and as the disease progresses, becomes increasingly difficult. Asbestosis is another disease that’s caused by prolonged exposure. Although this isn’t a fatal disease, it can lead to pneumonia or lung cancer.