Duct tape is enormously useful for projects undertaken by professional contractors and do-it-yourselfers alike. Today duct tape is asbestos free, but in the past, because duct tape was used to wrap heating or air conditioning pipes, some brands 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 that without it is the color. The new, non-asbestos—containing duct tape is silver, whereas the old duct tape with asbestos was white and more paper like. Duct tape that contains asbestos is more likely to be found in homes and other structures that were built before the 1980s. 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 with heating and air-conditioning systems 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. Unfortunately, some of the companies knew years ago that asbestos had an adverse effect on health but never mentioned it to their employees.


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