Bonding cement is a product use throughout home construction. The material is applied to load and non-load bearing walls in basements, ceilings, some decorative wall finishes and around foundations. Although the use of asbestos-containing bonding cement has been reduced dramatically, it is possible that homes built before the 1980s still have this material in them. Asbestos materials were banned in the 1970s, but bonding cement took longer to phase out.
Bonding cement was not seen as a huge concern because of the small amount of asbestos actually used in the cement, and many felt the asbestos fibers were permanently bonded to the cement eliminating the possibility of the fibers being released into the air. The bonding cement was frequently used for HVAC ducts, chimney sealants, and flues. Some areas may have used the toxic cement bonding for water pipes as well.
Any home that has asbestos-containing materials needs the help of a professional removal team. The slightest disturbance to these materials can cause the release of millions of asbestos fibers. Once a person inhales these toxic fibers, the fibers imbed themselves into the lining of the lungs, abdomen and heart. The body is unable to remove these fibers. The fibers may lay dormant for several decades before causing serious health complications. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos. The cancer is deadly and there is no cure for it. Because the cancer is not usually caught until it has caused serious damage, treatment options are limited.
Any person who has used asbestos bonding cement or was involved in the manufacturing of the material is at risk. Families of these workers may also be at a heightened risk of developing complications due to the asbestos exposure.