Construction companies use calcium silicate to insulate and protect against fire and extreme heat. It also protects against excessive sound and it adds insulation to existing and new structures in either residential or commercial areas. It is used in the manufacturing of steam boilers and ductwork. It can also be used to insulate water and steam pipes. Calcium silicate products have been used to add insulation to steam pipes, preventing the build-up of heat, and to join other components of the steam system.
Asbestos was known as a “wonder fiber” until the mid-1970s. It was known for a variety of uses throughout construction and manufacturing companies. It was flexible and strong, resistant to heat and corrosion, and inexpensive. Because asbestos was so heat resistant, it was included in calcium silicate insulation and became a sought after material.
All of the insulating materials containing asbestos are hazardous. Occupants may be in danger of exposure if calcium silicate insulation containing asbestos was used in renovation, construction, or while insulating their home, workplace, or other buildings. People in the greatest danger of exposure to asbestos are construction workers, HVAC specialists and product manufacturers. However, they aren’t the only ones at risk. Building renovations or upgrades to heating systems or even duct cleaning can cause asbestos fibers to be inhaled from anyone in that building.
Over the last 20 years, laws have restrictedthe use of asbestos products in construction, though already existing materials continued to be used in construction projects for another ten years. Today, calcium silicate insulation is still quite popular for use in insulating new homes and office buildings — but no longer contains asbestos. To date there has not been any known incidence of illness or medical conditions related to calcium silicate alone.