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Sealer

Asbestos in Sealer

Sealer, or sealant, may refer to any number of chemical substances used in building construction. Sealers are chemical substances that are viscous until exposed to the air, at which point they harden into a solid. Once in a solid state, a sealer protects the surface to which it is applied – usually concrete, cement, floor tiles or wood – from penetration by air, moisture, dust, oil and gases. Sealers thus help to preserve these surfaces. Varnish is one example of a common sealer which was used to preserve woodwork in homes during the early part of the twentieth century.

When added to sealants, asbestos fiber added a great deal of strength and durability as well as flame resistance (most types of sealers are quite flammable, even when dry). Ironically, sealers today no longer contain asbestos and are often used to prevent friable (crumbling) asbestos fibers from escaping into the environment, a process known as encapsulation. Modern sealers may contain silicone, acrylic, rubber, latex, plastics such as polyurethane, epoxy or resin.

The use of asbestos in building construction and shipbuilding was extremely common prior to the early 1980s; in fact, it was difficult to find many building products that did not contain asbestos.

Sealer Products Containing Asbestos

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

Product Name Start Year End Year
3M Sealers 1935 1986
Armstrong CC Navy Sealer 1942 1962
Armstrong LT Sealer 1942 1962
Armstrong Sealers 1939 1957
Celotex Carey Insulation Seal
Combustion Engineering WeatherKote Protective Duriseal 1964 1973
Fibreboard Pabco Hydroseal 1941 1971
Flintkote No. 260 Export Box Sealer 1951 1960
Flintkote No. 338 Windshield Sealer 1950 1960
H.B. Fuller Adhesive Sealer 32-21
H.B. Fuller Adhesive Sealer 82-22
H.B. Fuller Asphalt Seam Sealer 30-14 1965
H.B. Fuller Duct Sealer 32-04
H.B. Fuller Fire Resistive Insulation Sealer 30-72
H.B. Fuller Flexible Joint Sealer 60-02
Johns Manville Body Sealer 1954 1975
Johns Manville Duxseal 1934 1982
Quigley Damit Joint Sealant 1940 1970
Union Carbide Prestone Sealer Stop Leak

Hazards Associated with Asbestos Sealer Products

Exposure to asbestos fibers in sealer during construction did not usually cause immediate medical problems. However, some individuals develop serious diseases, including asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma, years or decades after even low levels of exposure. Construction workers exposed to asbestos decades ago, even before the asbestos ban, may only now be experiencing symptoms. It is important to get regular medical screenings if there is a possibility that you were exposed to asbestos fibers, and to inform your physician of past exposures so that he or she can be aware of the potential for developing asbestos-related conditions such as mesothelioma.

Learn More about Compensation for Asbestos-Related Injury

Mesothelioma is not caused by a bacteria or a virus; rather, it is an industrial disease caused by exposure to asbestos. The manufacturers of most asbestos-containing materials and products were aware of the health risks these fibers presented, but continued to sell their products until forced to stop by law. We have compiled a packet with mesothelioma information to provide asbestos victims with data on their legal options as well as the options for mesothelioma treatment. A mesothelioma attorney may be able to help you with your case. To get your free information packet at no cost or obligation, just fill in the form on this page and we will rush your packet to you right away.

Sources

Sources

Bowker, Michael. Fatal Deception: The Untold Story of Asbestos (New York: Touchstone, 2003)

N/A. "Non-Roofing Adhesives, Sealants and Coatings. American Alternatives, Part 10.
http://www.pic.int/en/DGDs/Alternatives/USA/American%20alternatives%20part%2010.pdf Accessed 08 December 2010.

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