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Asbestos Spray

Asbestos in Spray-on Insulation and Other Building Materials

Spray-on insulation became very popular starting in the mid-20th century. The most widely known spray-on product was manufactured by the W.R. Grace Corporation, and was known as Monokote®. While this product is still on the market today, gypsum serves as the primary flame retardant. As recently as 2007, however, W.R. Grace was still legally able to include up to 1% asbestos fiber in its products.

Before the early 1980s, Monokote and similar products could contain anywhere between 5% and 50% asbestos fiber, depending on the product. In the late 1960s as the World Trade Center in New York City was being constructed, large amounts of white asbestos spray-on insulation was applied to the structure.

The use of asbestos in the construction of those towers affected first responders and rescue workers when they (along with Building No. 7 some distance away, several hours later) collapsed as a result of a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Many of these workers continue to have serious respiratory conditions as a result of their exposure that day.

The most common asbestos disease resulting from exposure to the main ingredient in Monokote is asbestosis. However, all forms of asbestos have at least some connection to the even more serious disease mesothelioma, as well as other dangerous or even lethal conditions like pleural plaques and lung cancer. In 2004, medical researchers found strong evidence that exposure to asbestos fibers can also cause auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Asbestos Spray Products Containing Asbestos

The following partial list of asbestos spray products were known to contain asbestos:

Product Name Start Year End Year
AC & S Armaspray 1966 1969
AC & S Limpet Spray 1958 1974
Armstrong Armaspray
Kaiser Gypsum K-Spray Ceiling Texture 1961 1975
Keene Mono-Spray 1963 1970
Keene Pyrospray 1963 1971
Keene Pyrospray “S” 1963 1971
National Gypsum Gold Bond Spray Quick
National Gypsum Gold Bond Spray Quick A
National Gypsum Gold Bond Sprayolite
National Gypsum Gold Bond Velvet White Super Spray
National Gypsum Perfect Spray
National Gypsum Sprayed “Limpet” Asbestos
Turner & Newall Limpet Spray 1930 1963
United States Gypsum Super Hard Spray
United States Mineral Cafco Spray
United States Mineral J Spray
W.R. Grace Gun Coat Spray Surfacer
W.R. Grace Perltex Super 40 Perlite 1968 1974
W.R. Grace Perltex Super-40 Fog 1968
W.R. Grace Perltex Super-40 Polycoarse 1968 1973
W.R. Grace Perltex Super-40 SAV 1968 1974
W.R. Grace Spra-Wyt
W.R. Grace Zonolite Mono-Kote 1958 1962
W.R. Grace Zonolite Spra-Insulation 1959 1973
W.R. Grace Zonolite Spra-Tex 1955 1972
W.R. Grace Zonolite Super 40 1968 1974

Hazards Associated with Asbestos Spray Products

Workers who installed spray-on asbestos products, often without any effective safety equipment, are at high risk today of developing asbestos-related conditions. Even more at risk are the men and women who worked in asbestos mines, and the workers who worked directly with asbestos fibers in the processing plants that produced products like Monokote. Among workers who did not work directly with asbestos spray insulation, maintenance workers, sheetrock workers, framers, and other construction trades are at high risk of asbestos exposure, as are demolition workers and anyone entering an asbestos-contaminated building that is being torn down. When buildings with this form of asbestos contamination burn or are torn down, the asbestos fibers can easily become damaged, enter the atmosphere and be breathed in by workers in the area.

Sources

Sources

Bowker, Michael. Fatal Deception: The Untold Story of Asbestos (New York: Touchstone, 2003)
N/A. "Asbestos Linked to Autoimmune Diseases." Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 113 (2004)

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