It seems that most people you speak to these days have at least heard of someone who has suffered the consequences of asbestos exposure in their lifetime. For some it hits a little closer to home, with a parent or grandparent being affected. One type of asbestos that has caused a lot of damage is known as chrysotile asbestos, or "white asbestos".
Most Common Uses
Chrysotile has been used most often in commercial applications, and one of the more common uses is in corrugated cement roof sheets that are part of garages, warehouses and outbuildings. You can also find it in flat sheets that are used for ceilings and occasionally floors and walls.
Newer buildings are unlikely to contain chrysotile asbestos, but buildings that were constructed before the 80’s or even during the 80’s just might have it within their structure. Even a short drive around the average city of town will show you that many, many buildings that were constructed during or prior to the 1980’s are still standing.
Chrysotile asbestos can also be found in friction products like brake shoes, disk pads and clutches for vehicles and in elevator brakes.
Then & Now
No one likes to hear the word ‘asbestos’ unless the word ‘free’ comes right after, but the chrysotile asbestos of today is allegedly different than anything marketed before asbestos warnings and bans came into being in the mid 1970s. the chrysotile of yesteryear was said to be very friable, meaning it crumbled with just a little pressure.
Today, the Canadian Chrysotile Institute says it only markets materials that are non-friable and very dense. The fibers are ‘encapsulated’ in resin or cement to enhance the safety aspect. Does that mean it is a product you should run out and embrace? Probably not. And you should definitely contact FERRO Canada when you become aware of asbestos in any form being present in your building.
Please view the latest edition of FERRO's digital flip book HERE for a brief overview of how the various areas of expertise and services can benefit you.