Because of its sturdiness and heat-resistance, asbestos was used widely in products in the construction industry. One such product was known as the ASB Weatherproof Jacket. These “jackets” are sheaths that were placed over joints and valves to provide insulation and protect them from the elements, allowing for greater control over the temperature of the system they were protecting. This ensured proper flow of liquids or other materials between the valves and joints, even in outdoor settings and extreme temperatures. The amount of asbestos in the jackets varied from as low as 10 percent to as high as 80 percent.
These days, construction companies no longer use ASB Weatherproof Jackets, but they still may be in place in older homes or office buildings that have thus far been overlooked. Though the use of asbestos-containing products was banned in the 1970s, these products continued to be used in construction projects as late as the 1980s. Removal and disposal of these jackets should be undertaken by professionals who have the proper protective equipment to cover their nose and mouth.
As with all asbestos-containing materials, the ASB Weatherproof Jackets are usually harmless until broken or damaged, as often happens if they are improperly or hastily removed. When this happens, asbestos fibers are allowed to float freely in the air and can easily be ingested or inhaled. This is when the asbestos fibers can cause potentially fatal health problems.