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Does plaster contain asbestos?
This article explains where & when asbestos is likely to be found in plaster used on building walls & ceilings.
We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.
Asbestos content in Drywall, wallboard or "Sheetrock" or gypsum board & in joint compound
Modern plaster products and modern drywall and taping compound do not contain asbestos. However that was not always the case, as we detail here.
Asbestos in Plaster and stucco, includes Chrysotile asbestos.
Some plaster products may also contain tremolite (a form of amphibole asbestos) as an inadvertent contaminant from asbestos mining of chrysotile, and also they may include vermiculite that, depending on where it was mined, also contains asbestos (Libby).
Because plaster was added to various wallboard products and drywall to improve its water resistance or fire resistance, in turn that means that additional drywall products manufactured between 1920 and 1978 or later may also contain both crysotile and tremolite asbestos.
Asbestos was used as an ingredient in some plaster applications.
Asbestos was used in decorative plaster cornices, trim, ceiling medallions
Asbestos was used also in acoustical plaster both as a direct asbestos additive and as an asbestos contaminant in plasters to which vermiculiet or "Zonolite" were added to produce a light-weight plaster having good acoustical properties.
Asbestos was used in plaster designed to have a high resistance to fire.
Asbestos was used in plaster additives to gypsum board or "drywall" products to improve its moisture resistance (such as bath tile backer board) and to meet gypsum board fire resistance standards such as ASTM C630/C630M-03e1 Standard Specification for Water-Resistant Gypsum Backing Board (Withdrawn 2005 and replaced by ASTM C1396/C1396M)
Question: is the material shown in this plumbing access asbestos?
2018/05/15 shelby.hudson655321 said:
We are getting ready to rent (have put down a deposit) on a house built in 1955.
There is this easily accessible panel on the wall opposite the bathroom for access to the plumbing for the tub. Is or could this be asbestos? We have a 2 year old daughter and don't want to take any chances!
Your photo shows cement or plaster extruding through expanded metal lath, no doubt providing the wall onto which bathroom tile was affixed.
While some plaster in older homes might (rarely) contain asbestos, this is not a friable material. Even if the plaster contains asbestos you would have to grind, saw, or chop the material to create dust and thus to create a measurable hazard.
In sum, undisturbed, this plaster in the plumbing access is not a child hazard.
Reply: yes asbestos was used in a wide range of plaster casting including orthopedics
Yes, asbestos was used in some plaster cast and plaster mold applications, both directly in forms of asbestos fibres and also in the form of vermiculite, some of which contains asbestos.
There are some patent disclosures and research citing use of asbestos in products applied to splints and casts for broken bones, and possibly also in some denture casts, including the following:
Michele, Croce, and Clarence G. Shuttleworth. "Plaster compositions and products." U.S. Patent 2,681,863, issued June 22, 1954.
It should be observed also that in some instances asbestos has been used in plaster. In one such use the asbestos fiber has been added to plaster primarily to improve the plaster workability or trowelling characteristics while in another instance, in the Croce Patent No. 2,526,066, such asbestos fiber was added as a means for retaining an expansive component of the plaster composition in place in the set cast. In each case the amount of asbestos was quite high, and the Water absorptive capacity of the asbestos has increased the drying time of casts thus made.
Michele, Croce. "Plastic composition materials and products made therefrom." U.S. Patent 2,526,066, issued October 17, 1950.
In actual practice, I have found that a grade of asbestos designated as 5-R is suitable and economical for the purpose. This asbestos fibre is of medium length and is economical in cost.
... Longer fibred asbestos is more effective on an equal weight basis, but the cost per pound is also higher.
... A stiff self-sustaining panel adapted for use as the outer structural layer of a wall structure and in the form of a body member comprising about 93% of set calcined gypsum as the major ingredient, about 2% by weight of asbestos fibres; and about :5% by weight of high-grade comminuted Vermiculite in its unexpanded form and of a particle size of about minus 28 mesh commercial grading, said bres and said comminuted mineral being dispersed through the body.
Planteydt, H. T. "A Risk From Asbestos in Pleurectomy." JAMA 196, no. 4 (1966): 373-373.
Tseng, How, Jiunn-Liang Chen, and Ju-Yu Chueh. "Orthopedic casting material and the method of making the same." U.S. Patent Application 10/255,573, filed February 5, 2004.
Excerpt: U.S. Pat. No. 4,483,333 disclosed an orthopedic cast made of a mixture of polyethylene and thermoplastic polyester with a melting temperature between 50° C. and 100° C. The thermoplastic polyester can be polycaprolactone with an average molecular weight of over 5,000. In order to enhance the stability of the structure of the orthopedic cast and avoid it over-molding under molten status, the orthopedic cast is added fillers, such as silicon dioxide, mica and asbestos etc.
Walter, Dahmen. "Surgical dressing." U.S. Patent 2,127,552, issued August 23, 1938.
Excerpt: One of the specific fillers that I have found particularly amenable for my purposes is pine, although oak has been used with success, as have been asbestos, Bakelite and aluminum.
Asbestos was used in other plaster cast applications as well, such as
Willey, Grant S. "Fire resistant plaster product." U.S. Patent 3,454,456, issued July 8, 1969.
While glass fibers have been used in most of the above examples it is also within the ambit of this invention to use other inorganicfibers, such for example as asbestos fibers. In the forthcoming claims the percentage of unexpanded vermiculite is the amount of expandable vermiculite present in the ore used, though in actual practice, as followed in the above examples, the source of ore may have an appreciable amount of unexpandable particles present.
Also, all sieve sizes are US. Standard and all percentages are based upon the weight of calcined or settable gypsum used to form the core.
All the boards used in obtaining the above data were made with the rotary calcined gypsum manufactured at the East Chicago plant of the 'United States Gypsum Company and is that used 5 GYPSUM WALLBOARD Percent maximum contraction during fire tests with- 6 lbs/M Glass 1% fiber Amosite plus asbestos Unexpanded No 6 lbs/M 4% and vermiculite other Glass boric boric size addltive fiber acid acid minus 50 plus 70 mesh 025 .033 Exp 6% minus 70 plus 100 mesh.- l8 025 6% minus 100 plus 200 mesh 51 6% B05 Ore .36 21 117 1 217 No vermiculite..-. .73 62 48 l A similar board but made with glass fiber instead of asbestos shrank .142%.
And even in plaster casts used to make shoe moldings
Dresser, Frank G. "Manufacture of shoe lasts." U.S. Patent 2,487,965, issued November 15, 1949.
With the cast 10 removed each half mold 14 therein is placed on its side and a sheet of asbestos 16 is clamped over the top of the mold half (now in the normal position of a side) closing the half-ankle opening.
National Gypsum Corporation, Gold Bond Fire-Shield™ Plaster (1958-1970), Gold Bond Macoustic™ Plaster (1942-1947), Gold Bond Perfo-Lyte™ Acoustical Plaster (1955-1972),
and other Gold Bond Plaster products including Gold Bond Patching Plaster™, Spackling Plaster, and Wood-Fibered Plaster. Also National Gypsum E-Z Soak, Gold Bond Asbestone, Gold Bond Asbestos Cement board products, Gold Bond Humiguard™ asbestos panels, Gold Bond joint compound or spackling compound, Gold Bond textured paints, National Gypsum's Gypsolite™, Gold Bond siding products, Gold-bond non-perforated asbestos panels, Gold Bond Plasticrylic™ wallboard and panels, Gold Bond Sprayolite™, Gold Bond Nator.
Continue reading at PLASTER INGREDIENTS, MIX, COMPONENTS where we provide more citations on the use of asbestos in plaster, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.
Or see ASBESTOS in PLASTER FAQs - questions & answers about asbestos content in old plaster, posted originally at this page
Or see ASBESTOS in DRYWALL - the use of asbestos in gypsum board drywall products and in joint compound
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