How many times while working on a repair project have you used duct tape? Today duct tape is asbestos free, but in the past, since duct tape was used to wrap heating or air conditioning pipes, it more than likely contained asbestos. Duct tape was originally used to hold metal joints together and keep air from escaping.
One way to tell the difference in the duct tape with asbestos and the one without it is simple. The new duct tape is silver in color, whereas the old duct tape with asbestos was white in color and more paper like. Duct tape that contains asbestos is more likely to be found in homes that were built before the 1980’s. If this duct tape is still in good condition it is best not to disturb it. However, the EPA recommends encapsulating asbestos-containing materials including duct tape to prevent particles of the mineral from leaking into the air.
People who worked for an asbestos duct tape company in the past were routinely exposed to the asbestos. Anyone who now works in older homes or heating and air could still be exposed to asbestos from the duct tape that was used. Asbestos duct tape has been used for years and workers never realized they were being exposed to such a dangerous health hazard until later on in life when it was too late. Today there is a lot more awareness of asbestos and the products in which they were used. Unfortunately, some of the companies knew years ago that asbestos had an adverse effect on health but never mentioned it to their employees. At least the EPA took a stand and banned asbestos from manufactured products for the safety of the people.