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Asbestos production volumes:
History of how much asbestos was mined and produced, through the 1950's gives an indication of the stunning growth in the volume of asbestos mined and used world-wide up to the early 1980's.
This articles series about the manufacture & use of asbestos-containing products includes detailed information on the production methods, asbestos content, and the identity and use of asbestos-containing materials.
The growth in volume of raw asbestos and manufactured
asbestos products continually increases. In 1957, Canada's
asbestos industry totaled more than 100 million dollars.
[Click to enlarge any image]
The 1957 industrial minerals report by the Mining Industry
of the Province of Quebec recorded annual shipments of
chrysotile asbestos according to grades. The report was
based on sales figures from Asbestos Corp., Ltd., Bell Asbestos
Mines Ltd., Canadian ,Johns-Manville Co., Ltd.,
Flintkote Mines, Ltd., Johnson's Asbestos Co., Nicolet Asbestos
Mines, Ltd., and Quebec Asbestos Corp., Ltd.
The Canadian exports in tonnage and dollar value according
to grades were: crude, 683 tons, valued at $567,731;
milled, 393,311 tons, valued at $73,948,689; shorts, 636,611
tons, valued at $32,541,989. The grand total of raw asbestos
was 1,030,605 tons, valued at $107,058,409. Total sales of
manufactured asbestos products for the year 1957 was
$1,880,097 with brake linings accounting for approximately
one-third of the sales.
Based on 1955 figures, the United States produced approximately
tons from various mines. Typical monthly
quantity of manufactured exports at the end of 1957 was
300 tons, valued at $34,590. The quantity for imports was
39,100 tons, valued at $3,950,000. For the same year of
1957, the United States Bureau of Census monthly quantity
of manufactured exports was 1,700 tons, valued at
$1,184,080. The quantity of imports was 2,400 tons, valued
Fortunately, for United States manufacturing plants, the
largest asbestos producing country in the world is a border
neighbor. Railroads run through the entire mining districts.
Asbestos is loaded on railroad cars, and it can be shipped
directly into the American continent without difficulty. From
spring to autumn, ocean shipments take place from Quebec
or Montreal. With the present St. Lawrence river project,
delivery of asbestos to the United States will probably result
in lower costs and faster shipments to certain areas.
WHOLESALE PRICES OF CANADIAN CHRYSOTILE ASBESTOS
( Canadian Dollars / ton, f.o.b. mine)
Crude Asbestos #2 consists basically of crude 5/8-inch to 3/4-inch staple asbestos fibers
The United States War Production Board at the close of
World War II concluded that approximately 60 per cent of
the total asbestos used was in the manufacture of textile
goods. Non textile products amounted to 40 per cent. This
particular grouping did not include asbestos used in the
manufacture of such nonmilitary products as asbestoscement
products. The textile products included all friction
materials and other engineered products. The non textile
products were primarily those involving Navy insulating
In reviewing the use of asbestos in the United States for
products other than asbestos-cements, the United States
War Production Board determined that 63 per cent of the
asbestos used was employed in the fabrication of insulating
materials, 32 per cent was used for mechanical and electrical
applications and 5 per cent was for general usage.
Canada's asbestos ore reserves are estimated at 47 million
tons, based on a mine life of 50 to 75 years. This figure
includes a minimum of 20 years of open pit operations. It is
difficult to estimate total amount of asbestos fiber reserves,
inasmuch as mine owners consider the information to be
confidential. In addition, new asbestos ore deposits are being
discovered. These not only increase the present supply but
also the reserves.
Based on the afore-mentioned figure, and a recent United
States Department of Commerce review on this subject, the
conclusion is that there will continue to be an ample supply
of asbestos fibers. The basic problem will probably be how
to take advantage of available fibers.
The Western Hemisphere is self sufficient in chrysotile,
but research is definitely needed to develop substitutes and
the strategic and limited availability of amosite
and crocidolite. Chrysotile is the most important fiber;
fortunately, it is the most abundant.
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 Asbestos, its Industrial Applications, D.V. Rosato, engineering consultant, Newton MA, Reinhold Publishing Co., NY, 1959, Library of Congress Catalog No. 59-12535. We are in process of re-publishing this interesting text. Excerpts & adaptations are found in InspectApedia.com articles on asbestos history, production & visual identification in and on buildings.
 "Asbestos in Plastic Compositions", A.B. Cummins, Modern Plastics [un-dated, pre 1952]
 "Asbestos in Your Home," Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority, Spokane WA 509-477-4727 www.scapa.org provides a one-page image, a .pdf file drawing of a house warning of some possible sources of asbestos in the home. The sources are not ranked according to actual risk of releasing hazardous levels of airborne asbestos fibers and the list is useful but incomplete.
 The US EPA provides a sample list of asbestos containing products epa.gov/earth1r6/6pd/asbestos/asbmatl.htm
 "Characterization of asbestos exposure among
automotive mechanics servicing and handling
asbestos-containing materials", Gary Scott Dotson, University of South Florida, 1 June 2006, web search 3/9/2012 original source: scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3505&context=etd [copy on file as /hazmat/Automotive_Asbestos_Exposuret.pdf ].
 Asbestos Identification and Testing References
Asbestos Identification, Walter C.McCrone, McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, IL.1987 ISBN 0-904962-11-3. Dr. McCrone literally "wrote the book" on asbestos identification procedures which formed
the basis for current work by asbestos identification laboratories.
Stanton, .F., et al., National Bureau of Standards Special Publication 506: 143-151
Pott, F., Staub-Reinhalf Luft 38, 486-490 (1978) cited by McCrone
 Asbestos in Your Home U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
 Asbestos products and their history and use in various building materials such as asphalt and vinyl flooring includes discussion which draws on Asbestos, Its Industrial Applications, D.V. Rosato, engineering consultant, Newton, MA, Reinhold Publishing, 1959 Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 59-12535 (out of print, text and images available at InspectAPedia.com).
 "Handling Asbestos-Containing roofing material - an update", Carl Good, NRCA Associate Executive Director, Professional Roofing, February 1992, p. 38-43
 EPA Guidance for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in buildings, NIAST, National Institute on Abatement Sciences & Technology, [republishing EPA public documents] 1985 ed., Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460 Copy on file as - /hazmat/Asbestos_in_Your_Home_US_EPA.pdf - Asbestos in Your Home - U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
Basic Information about Asbestos, US EPA, web search 08/17/2010, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/help.html
"Handling Asbestos-Containing roofing material - an update", Carl Good, NRCA Associate Executive Director, Professional Roofing, February 1992, p. 38-43
EPA Guidance for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in buildings, NIAST, National Institute on Abatement Sciences & Technology, [republishing EPA public documents] 1985 ed., Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
Copy on file as - /hazmat/Asbestos_in_Your_Home_US_EPA.pdf - Asbestos in Your Home - U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
[copy on file as /hazmat/Vermiculite_US_EPA.pdf/ Current Best Practices for Vermiculite Attic Insulation - May 2003, U.S. EPA
[copy on file as] /hazmat/Vermiculite_Health_Canada.pdf] Vermiculite Insulation Containing Amphibole Asbestos - September 2009, Health Canada
Managing Asbestos in Place, How to Develop and Maintain a Building Asbestos Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Program, U.S. EPA, web search 01/20/2011, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/management_in_place.html
Asbestos Strategies, Lessons Learned about Management and Use of Asbestos: Report of Findings and Recommendations on the Use and Management of Asbestos, 16 May 2003, US EPA, web search 01/20/2011, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/asbstrategiesrptgetf.pdf
prepared by the: Global Environment & Technology Foundation, 7010 Little River Turnpike, Suite. 460, Annandale VA 20003
Other US EPA Publications on asbestos: web search 01/20/2011, see http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/pubs.html
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
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