To help keep consumers safe from the dangers and risks associated with asbestos, certain regulations are in place that eliminates respirable, or free-form, asbestos from certain products. Respirable asbestos fibers can cause lung or other types of cancers. In general, respirable free-form asbestos is not bound, woven or "locked in," which allows the fibers to escape into the air and can be inhaled when certain products are sanded or heated. Asbestos fibers that are not bound to a patching compound, artificial ashes or embers can be released into the air and inhaled when patching compounds are sanded or the ashes or embers are heated.
Several different types of asbestos are subject to the ban that prohibits them from being in several different types of consumer products. The ban includes products such as spackling compounds, tape joint compounds and additional mixtures consumers may use to patch or seal cracks, holes or other imperfections in surfaces, including drywall. The products may be in different forms.
The ban applies to patching compounds that asbestos has been intentionally added to or contain asbestos because the manufacturer knowingly used a raw material that contained asbestos. When the manufacturer becomes aware that the patching compound contains asbestos, the Consumer Product Safety Commission considers the manufacturer to have knowingly used a raw material containing asbestos in the absence of the manufacturer's efforts to reduce the amount of asbestos as much as is reasonably possible.
The ban also applies to decorative simulated ashes or embers which, when heated, glow like authentic burning embers and may be placed under artificial logs used in gas-burning fireplaces. The ban includes artificial ashes and embers used in fireplaces for decorative purposes, as well as asbestos-containing materials that are glued to artificial logs using an "emberizing" kit. Certain types of synthetic and artificial logs that do not contain asbestos are not subject to the ban.
Consumers harmed by dangerous or defective products or by asbestos may have different options to consider when evaluating their damages and the need for compensation of those damages, which can include physical, financial and emotional damages. Familiarity with the options that may be available may provide peace of mind for victims harmed by a consumer product or toxic substance.