Asbestos Pipe Insulation Question

I have a question about asbestos pipe insulation.

When I was younger, (11-12 years of age), I used to rest my bicycle’s handlebar against the asbestos pipe insulation. I noticed that this caused a 4inch by 2inch swath of asbestos pipe insulation to remain hanging.

I am now 20 years old. I now know the dangers of asbestos exposure. Being that this is friable, I never touched it, cut it, ground it, etc. The wear and tear from keeping my bike’s handlebar caused the asbestos pipe insulation to be exposed.


If it remains hanging and has for at least 9 years, are the asbestos fibers still being released into the air or is it that each time you disturb the friable asbestos fibers are released into the air.

While you can’t visibly see the fibers, isn’t exposure accompanied by observing dust in the air or some dust on the floor. I saw nothing of that ever.

Please provide any serious answers that you can. I graciously appreciate your health.

Hold your breath and seal it. Got duct tape?

Great idea simple do it … Roy

You are good as dead. Do you have any lonely MILF’s in your neighborhood that have been giving you that “I need you” look?

Check and see if Sears has one of these.

I can’t bellieve you lasted this long. Consider yourself lucky…:smiley:

Your lung x rays should show if you had prolonged and repeated exposure .
Hanging undisturbed it is doubtful you have much to worry about .

Start here.

Okay. Bit of over-reaction, but better to hear it from professionals.

Just three more points, looking for clarification:

I followed that link one of the posters provided and it said that “deteriorating or loose asbestos”, mine fits the latter as it is hanging, would be releasing fibers. Is that only when you physically disturb it or is once it is hanging does it release asbestos fibers.

Would I be able to find any dust below the pipe insulation. Anything to show that it is releasing fibers.

Would just leaving it alone be okay as well.

Thanks for your responses. Bit of overreaction but I rather hear it from professionals.

Just two other points:

One of the posters who replied provided a link which said if “asbestos is deteriorating and loose” mine being the latter, as it is hanging would be dangerous. Is that so. Can I do nothing if I don’t go near it.

Would my pipe insulation releasing asbestos fibers show any observable powder/dust below the pipe. Does it only release when disturbed and thus harmless when hanging.

Short answer no , fibers are very small that is why they can catch in bronchi of the lungs. Remember it is airborne fibers that are the concern, so small they float in disturbed air. Dust might bee seen from repeated disturbance in a still environment but if so that would most likely be from disintegrating binder and wrappings . Undisturbed asbestos product are by all professional accounts considered safe but that said if portions were in areas that would, like exposed electrical, come in contact with people it should be dealt with.

One other point.

Websites toss around the phrase “asbestos dust” is what people inhale when asbestos containing materials are disturbed or damaged.

Am I correct to assume that the asbestos particles are microscopic BUT the dust produced from a disturbed or damaged material containing asbestos is visible. Basically if one knew that the material contained asbestos would the asbestos dust be visible to their naked eye.

One other point

Websites use the term “asbestos dust” to describe what individuals inhale when asbestos containing material is disturbed.

Am I correct to the assume that asbestos fibers are MICROSCOPIC, but if dust is produced from disturbing asbestos containing materials it is indicative that asbestos fibers are being released. Like in my instance, this slight gradual tear in the asbestos pipe insulation produced no dust. Please explain.

1.) So the consensus is that just letting it hang will be okay. I use my garage daily to go to drive to school and the ACM hanging material is on vertical pipe facing the wall of my garage which is about 5 feet in front of my car door. I don’t directly pass or disturb it, but the car is in my garage. Websites online say that damaged ACM pipe insulation is dangerous. I can only think that **wind erosion **would cause friable ACM pipe insulation that has been damaged to release ACM fibers. Is it a health hazard and does it need to covered with duct tape or can it remain hanging.

2.) Also, I recently replaced the switches in my house (1966 built) from older light switches to newer looking rocker switches. No cutting, drilling, etc took place, but now I see online wallboard contains asbestos. There were small chunks still left in the outlet that I picked out or placed aside when doing the work. Does wallboard (sheetrock) contain asbestos, b/c some sites say it does and others don’t. Most say you need to worry about the joint compound and drywall tape.


I am not an expert but I have a basic working knowledge of asbestos and its hazards. I used to be an engineer for Johns-Manville :(. There are two basic ways of dealing with asbestos. One is to remove it and the other is to encapsulate it. Professional removal of even a small amount can be expsensive. It would probably make more sense for you to encapsulate it.