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Plastic Cement

Asbestos in Plastic Cement

The term "plastic cement" refers to a number of different substances, including building materials as well as substances used by modelers and hobbyists. Plastic cement is used to join various types of rigid plastic, including polystyrene and PVC pipes used in plumbing systems. When the cement is applied to the surface of the plastic, it causes the surfaces to melt together.

Another type of plastic cement is a proprietary compound manufactured and marketed by the QUIKRETE® Companies. This material is a blend of Portland cement and other ingredients that is specifically designed for use with plaster and stucco, acting as a sealant.

In 1968, construction companies began using a product identified as "asphalt-asbestos plastic cement," which was a combination of asbestos fibers and a chemical solvent known as polymeric isobutylene. This compound was typical of several types of asphalt cement products used in roofing to provide waterproofing and fire resistance.

The types of asbestos fibers used in these plastic cement products were either derived from serpentine (chrysotile) or were of the blue or brown varieties (amphibole). Chrysotile was the most commonly used; this type of asbestos is white in color and is relatively soft compared to the amphibole type. The latter was used in approximately 2-5% of all plastic cement applications.

Plastic Cement Products Containing Asbestos

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

Product Name Start Year End Year
Certainteed Plastic Cement 1930 1977
Certainteed Wet Seal Plastic Cement 1961 1977
Flintkote Plastic Cement 1940 1982
Kaiser Gypsum Plastic Cement

Hazards Associated with Asbestos Plastic Cement Products

Plastic cement products containing chrysotile or amphibole asbestos fibers pose a serious hazard to human health. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they lodge in the body’s soft tissues such as the lungs and the mesothelium, a layer of cells which wraps around the heart, lungs, and abdominal cavities. Once fibers enter the mesothelium, they remain there forever. As the body’s immune system attacks these foreign bodies, the affected area begins scarring and may develop tumors. The tumors in turn develop into diseases like mesothelioma. Workers exposed to plastic cement products, whether in construction or demolition, should be aware of the risk posed by asbestos exposure and should inform their doctor or physician of their past exposure.

Learn More about Compensation for Asbestos-Related Injury

Malignant mesothelioma does not develop from natural causes; it is nearly always the direct result of asbestos exposure and inhalation. The makers of asbestos-containing products like plastic cement were aware of the risks posed by asbestos exposure, but continued to sell their products for many years to an unsuspecting public. If you have developed asbestosis, pleural mesothelioma, or peritoneal mesothelioma, you should be aware that you have both legal and medical options. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, palliative care and early diagnosis can extend life considerably. We have created a free packet with mesothelioma information that can help you with your situation. To receive your information packet, just fill in the form on this page and we will rush you a copy at absolutely no charge.



Draper, Homer L. and Wayne McLaughlin. "Asphalt-Asbestos Plastic Cement." U.S. Patent 3615803. Filed 01 August 1968.

Shires, Quentin. "What Is Plastic Cement Used For? E-How. Updated 17 May 2010. Retrieved 08 December 2010.

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