Asbestos in Spray-Applied Insulation

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Monokote was highly popular as an inexpensive form of fireproof insulation from the early 1960s on. In 1973, the federal government attempted to pass a ban on the use of asbestos-containing sprays similar to that enacted by the New York City Health Department. Unfortunately, lobbyists – a disease that has infected the Legislature for well over half of U.S. history – were able to influence Congress to pass what has come to be known as the “Grace Rule” (after W.R. Grace, whose lobbyists wrote the legislation), which allows a product to contain up to 1% asbestos and still be marketed as “asbestos free.” This rule has never been changed.

This means that spray-applied insulation installed even as recently as last year may contain some amount of asbestos. Because it is possibly the most friable of all asbestos-containing construction materials, Monokote and similar materials should be treated with extreme caution and should only be handled by an asbestos abatement professional.