Photo Guide to Asbestos Fireproofing Materials in buildings
ASBESTOS FIREPROOFING SPRAY-On Coatings - CONTENTS: Asbestos Fireproofing - Asbestos-containing Spray-on or Slab (Tremolite) Fireproofing in buildings - How to recognize asbestos fireproofing materials in buildings. Photographs of Tremolite asbestos in buildings SPRAY-ON FIRE-RESISTANT MATERIALS May or May Not Contain Asbestos. This article includes photographs of contemporary spray-on fire-resistant coatings that do not contain asbestos but that may resemble older asbestos-containing materials.
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Asbestos-containing building fireproofing materials & coatings:
Tthis 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.
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.
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
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.
See ASBESTOS UNDER the MICROSCOPE.
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.
Contemporary Spray-on Fire Resistant Building Coatings & Materials That do Not Contain Asbestos
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.
Continue reading in this article using direct links to the sections listed below, or
The photograph of building construction with a spray-on fire resistant coating at above left 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-
tate resins and inorganic fillers designed for the
fire protection of interior structural steel), cementious coatings, etc.
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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Questions & answers or comments about asbestos content in building fire proofing materials, including spray-on fireproofing & solid block or sheet fireproofing materials.
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June 1997 - Window Putty - OSHA case cites contractor for asbestos exposure during removal of window putty http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=1091
Asbestos Identification and Testing References
Asbestos Identification, Walter C.McCrone, McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, IL.1987 ISBN 0-904962-11-3. Dr. McCrone literally "wrote the book" on asbestos identification procedures which formed
the basis for current work by asbestos identification laboratories.
Stanton, .F., et al., National Bureau of Standards Special Publication 506: 143-151
Pott, F., Staub-Reinhalf Luft 38, 486-490 (1978) cited by McCrone
Asbestos in Your Home U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
Asbestos products and their history and use in various building materials such as asphalt and vinyl flooring includes discussion which draws on Asbestos, Its Industrial Applications, D.V. Rosato, engineering consultant, Newton, MA, Reinhold Publishing, 1959 Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 59-12535 (out of print, text and images available at InspectAPedia.com).
"Handling Asbestos-Containing roofing material - an update", Carl Good, NRCA Associate Executive Director, Professional Roofing, February 1992, p. 38-43
EPA Guidance for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in buildings, NIAST, National Institute on Abatement Sciences & Technology, [republishing EPA public documents] 1985 ed., Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Or choose the The Home Reference eBook for PCs, Macs, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, or Android Smart Phones. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAEHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.