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Asbestos in Tape and Other Building and Industrial Materials

Construction tape that contained asbestos (according to some sources, as much as 80%) was usually duct tape used to seal the joints of heating conduits and air conditioning ducts in HVAC systems. Unlike the silvery-gray duct tape that is used to repair virtually everything these days, asbestos duct tape was usually white. This product was also sold as "asbestos furnace tape" before the 1980s. It may have had its own adhesive or required the application of one; some types of furnace tape were made with asbestos-containing paper.

The use of asbestos in duct tape was gradually phased out during the 1980s. However, these materials may still be present in thousands of older homes and buildings constructed prior to that time.

Tape Products Containing Asbestos

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

Product Name Start Year End Year
Fibreboard Taping Compound
Garlock Asbestos Tape 1907 1980
Garlock Insulation Tape 1907 1980
Garlock Spiral Pasti-Thread Seal Tape 1907 1980
H.K. Porter Tape
Kelly-Moore Paco Taping Compound 1970 1977
National Gypsum Asbestos Stripping Tape
Pittsburgh Corning Insutape
Raymark Allbestos Tape
Raymark Gatortape
Raymark Glassbestos (Tape) 1948 1982
Raymark Pyrotex (Tape)
Raymark Tape
Unarco Super Insulation Tape
Unarco Super Insultape
United States Gypsum Imperial Tape 1962 1968
United States Gypsum Perf-A-Tape Compound 1945 1975
United States Gypsum Perf-A-Tape Joint System 1945 1975

Hazards Associated with Tape Products

Asbestos duct tape that is still intact does not pose an immediate health danger. It should however be encapsulated and sealed with resin polymers in order to prevent it from becoming friable and releasing asbestos fibers into the air where they can be inhaled. Unfortunately, most asbestos duct tape installed in older buildings has most likely been there for an extended period of time. As a result, there is a possibility that it could be in a deteriorating state and capable of releasing asbestos fibers into the environment. If this is the case, it is best to contact a licensed asbestos abatement contractor to assess the product and safely remove it if necessary.



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

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