One of Philip Carey Manufacturing Corporation’s best selling asbestos products was their HiTemp insulation cement. This was a compound similar to cement that could either be sprayed onto the walls of buildings or spread on with a trowel for application. Because it contained asbestos, the insulation cement was an efficient insulating material that could protect homes and commercial buildings against high temperatures. The fact that HiTemp insulation cement was also cheap and lightweight made it popular with the construction teams and contractors responsible for large development projects.
However, during the decades that products like insulation cement containing the hazardous mineral asbestos were used, thousands of workers were exposed to its dangers. In fact, in the last 30 years, approximately 200,000 people in this country alone have been diagnosed with serious illnesses related to asbestos exposure. The first symptoms of these diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis, can take up to decades to initially appear. Unfortunately, that means individuals could have used this insulating cement their entire careers without protecting themselves from the risks associated with it.
In the years that followed the widespread use of HiTemp Insulation Cement, as well as other asbestos-containing products the company produced, those who worked with the products began experiencing the consequences of sustained exposure to this chemical. The use of these products lasted from the 1950s to the 1980s, meaning thousands likely underwent this exposure, including electricians and carpenters. By the early 1990s, thousands of injury and death lawsuits were brought against the holding company for Philip Carey, Rapid-American Corporation.
The Environmental Protection Agency explains that asbestos-cement products, like transite, see common usage for duct insulation, pipes and siding. As a Category II nonfriable asbestos-containing material, the EPA mandates this material be removed before buildings are demolished because of their high likelihood of crumbling into a powder which can be inhaled, posing a serious disease threat. The EPA explains that if asbestos cements are removed through relatively careful means, using hand tools that do not saw, pulverize or significantly damage the material, the materials are able to be disposed of with other construction waste. However, this should be determined on a case-by-case basis by the owner and operator.