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ASBESTOS-FREE INSULATION MATERIALS
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CEILING FINISHES INTERIOR
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CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
EFFLORESCENCE SALTS & WHITE DEPOSITS
FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS
FLOOR TILES ASBESTOS
FLOOR TYPES & DEFECTS
HOUSE DOCTOR, how-to be
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
Museum Artifact Preservation
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
DRYWALL, PLASTER, BEAVERBOARD
PLASTER TYPE IDENTIFICATION
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WORLD TRADE CENTER 9-11 DUST PHOTOS
Asbestos-containing building fireproofing materials & coatings: this article describes common asbestos fireproofing materials used in buildings on ceilings and walls. We have not prepared but will add description of spray-on fiberglass coatings used on steel columns and ceilings in high rise buildings such as the lower floors of the NY World Trade center.
This document assists building buyers, owners or inspectors who need to identify asbestos materials (or probable-asbestos) in buildings by simple visual inspection. We provide photographs and descriptive text of asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing products to permit identification of definite, probable, or possible asbestos materials in buildings.
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Asbestos Fireproofing- Tremolite Asbestos-containing Spray-on or Slab (Tremolite) Fireproofing in buildings
While an expert lab test using polarized light microscopy may be needed to identify the specific type of asbestos fiber, or to identify the presence of asbestos in air or dust samples, many asbestos-containing building products not only are obvious and easy to recognize, but since there were not other look-alike products that were not asbestos, a visual identification of this material can be virtually a certainty in many cases.
Also see ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC a field identification guide to visual detection of asbestos in and on heating and cooling system ducts and flue vents.
Also see Micro-Photographs of Dust from the World Trade Center collapse following the 9/11/01 attack. Links to U.S. government and other authoritative research and advice are included.
Asbestos based building fireproofing materials including both the thick Tremolite asbestos panels below, chrysotile asbestos panels and asbestos-containing paints and coatings for fire resistance, are described here.
Slabs of 1" thick asbestos insulating board, typically 6" wide, were used as fireproofing on commercial building ceilings and possibly walls.
According to some experts, this material is usually Tremolite asbestos, a particularly hazardous form of asbestos which occurs as both fibrous asbestiform (see 1st lab micro photograph) and non-fibrous granular form which in our samples includes high percentage of ultra-small sub-micron asbestos particulates (see 2nd lab micro photograph).
This material when viewed overhead from below, can appear to be simple concrete.
But a closer look shows its fibrous nature, and inclusions which do not resemble concrete. Unlike cementious asbestos board, this material is soft, very friable, and easily damaged or disturbed. [This tremolite insulation was removed from the building by experienced professional asbestos abatement workers. It should not be handled by amateurs.]
Microphotographs taken in our forensic laboratory show what this particular asbestos material looks like under high magnification and polarized light.
Not commonly used in single family residences or small buildings, but common in high-rise buildings into the 1970's, including the lower floors of the World Trade Center, leading to asbestos fiber release at "ground zero" on 9/11/00. At some locations where this material was sprayed on the under-side of steel roofing and on steel columns, it may be hidden by finish materials and enclosures.
Some modern spray-on building fireproof or fire-resistant coatings look a bit like products used in the 1970's and prior, but the new materials do not contain asbestos as its use in this application is now prohibited.
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This photograph of building construction with a spray-on fire resistant coating was taken in the Bronx, New York, in 2008.
Current spray-on fire-resistant coatings do not contain asbestos and include both wet and dry insulation coatings, and cementious fireproofing coatings (such as fire resistant plaster) installed by a variety of fire-resistant coating and insulating companies who may apply an insulating layer, fire retardant paint, intumescent paint & coatings (polyvinyl ace-
These fire-resistant products are produced and sold by W.R. Grace, Isolatek / Cafco, Albi, Southwest Vermiculite, International Cellulose, and others. Spray insulating products cover a still wider range including foam insulating products (and some fire-resistant foam products used typically at building penetrations and other special applications).
Continue reading at ASBESTOS INSULATION or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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