Pipe Covering

Prior to the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into pipe insulation because it provided ample heat and fire resistance. Asbestos-containing pipe insulation helped to protect pipes, and it ensured the proper flow of liquids and gasses. Asbestos-containing pipe insulation was used in residential basements, heating and cooling systems, factories, manufacturing facilities and boiler rooms. Johns Manville, Eagle Picher, Owens Corning and Fibreboard were manufacturers of asbestos-containing pipe covering products. Because pipes were common in nearly every commercial and industrial setting, workers in a variety of different occupations were exposed to asbestos from the application and removal of pipe insulation. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Handling or cutting lengths of pipe insulation produced clouds of asbestos-containing dust. In order to cover a pipe elbow, insulating plaster or cement was used. Asbestos-containing plaster was manufactured as a dry powder, and it was mixed with water to form a paste-like substance prior to its application. Pouring and mixing the insulating plaster caused asbestos-containing fibers and dust to become airborne. Those who worked in the vicinity of where pipe insulation was cut and cement mixed, including carpenters, are at risk of developing mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.

It was also common for manufacturing facilities to go through a period of time known as a turnaround or shut down, an operation where the plant would shut down for three to four weeks so that routine maintenance could be performed. During this time, worn asbestos insulation that covered pipes was torn-down, and workers or insulation contractors assisted with dismantling and replacing the asbestos insulation. This process was extremely messy and created enormous dust clouds. Many workers were not aware of the dangers of exposure to the asbestos dust, and carried on their work without masks or protective gear.

If you or a loved one installed or removed asbestos-containing pipe insulation and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, please contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation.