About asbestos (1)


What is asbestos?

It is a fibrous mineral mainly composed of natural silicate that is mined in a mine.

The name “asbestos” comes from the Greek word, meaning “unquenchable” or “inextinguishable”.

It has excellent heat and chemical resistance, as well as excellent heat insulation, fire resistance, and soundproofing, and is used in a wide range of applications, centering on building materials.


However, lung cancer and mesothelioma caused by asbestos were confirmed in the 1960s. In Japan, the use of spray asbestos was banned in principle in 1975, and in 2004, the production and use of asbestos with a content rate of more than 1% was banned. Since 2006, manufacturing and use of asbestos with a content rate of more than 0.1% is prohibited.

* Although there was a grace period for parts in fields for which alternative technologies were not established, in 2012 all manufacturing was banned because all alternative technologies were established.


Types of asbestos

There are six types of asbestos, and they can be roughly divided into two types.


Chrysotile (white asbestos): The most used asbestos


Crocidolite (blue asbestos)

Amosite (brown asbestos)





Main uses


Classification Product type Main uses
Building material Spray material Sprayed asbestos, rock wool containing asbestos, sprayed vermiculite containing asbestos, perlite containing asbestos, etc. Fire-resistant coating of steel frame, sound absorption and heat insulation of inner walls and ceilings, prevention of condensation on ceiling
Moisturizer etc. Moisturizer containing asbestos Protection of pipes and boilers, and so on
Fireproof coating material containing asbestos Fireproof coating such as steel frame
Asbestos-containing insulation Preventing condensation on the attic and insulating the chimney
Molded plate etc. Rock wool sound absorbing ceiling board containing asbestos Sound absorption in the ceiling
Vinyl floor tile, vinyl floor sheet Floor
Pulp cement board Inner wall, ceiling, eaves
Slate / wood wool cement board Roof base, wall
Asbestos cement pipe Chimney, cable protection pipe, hot spring water supply pipe, drainage pipe, etc.
Extruded cement panel Decorative board laid on a board stretched as a roofing material
Fiber reinforced cement board Roof, outer wall, inner wall, ceiling, eaves, fireproof partition
Ceramic siding Outer wall
Non-building material Friction material Clutch facing Clutch
Clutch lining
Brake pad Brake
Brake lining
Adhesive Insulation adhesive Adhesion of gaps between industrial insulation materials used at high temperatures
Asbestos textiles Asbestos thread, asbestos tape Raw materials such as gland packing
Asbestos cloth Asbestos gloves, clothes, aprons, fireproof curtains, asbestos duvet, etc.
Seal material Asbestos-containing gasket Stationary parts such as piping flanges
Asbestos-containing packing Movement points such as pump shaft seals
Electrical insulation board Asbestos cement board for electrical insulation Switchboard, etc.


Asbestos-related diseases

The major diseases covered by the Asbestos Health Damage Relief System are as follows.



Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor that forms in the pleura that surrounds the lungs, the peritoneum that surrounds the liver and stomach, the pericardium that covers the origin of the heart and large blood vessels, and the testicular pod membrane.


Lung cancer due to asbestos (primary lung cancer)

Primary lung cancer is a malignant tumor that begins in the epithelium that covers the bronchi or alveoli. It is caused by many causes other than asbestos, including smoking.


Asbestosis and chronic pleural thickening

(* If you have a serious respiratory illness, you will be eligible for relief.)

Asbestosis is one of the illnesses called “pulmonary dust” in which the lungs become fibrotic by inhaling a large amount of asbestos, causing respiratory distress.

Lung dust can be caused by minerals other than asbestos and other causes. Among them, lung fibrosis caused by asbestos exposure is called “asbestosis” to distinguish it.

Diffuse pleural thickening refers to a condition of chronic fibrous pleurisy of the visceral pleura that covers the lungs. Usually, the wall-side pleura that covers the chest is also affected by the disease, and most of the time, the two are adhered together.


How to dispose of asbestos

Asbestos must be properly disposed of in accordance with national disposal standards and disposal methods.

There are the following methods depending on the situation:

  • Landfill disposal
  • Melting disposal
  • Other harmless disposal

However, with either method, it is necessary to entrust it to a specialized company and perform proper processing.


Asbestos waste is divided into scattering asbestos waste and non-scattering asbestos waste.


Applicable to scattering asbestos (specially controlled industrial waste)

Among waste asbestos and industrial waste containing or attaching asbestos, those related to the asbestos building material removal business that may scatter are applicable.

For example, they are the sprayed asbestos, the asbestos moisturizer and the curing materials attached to asbestos, which are removed by asbestos building material removal work. Also applicable are tools or instruments used for removal work that may have asbestos attached.


Appicable to non-scattering asbestos (industrial waste containing asbestos)

Industrial waste (excluding waste asbestos, etc.) generated by new construction, remodeling, and removal of structures, which contains 0.1% or more of asbestos in its weight is applicable.

Examples include fiber-reinforced cement boards (such as slates), perlite boards, ceramic siding, pulp cement boards, decorative slate for residential roofs, asbestos cement pipes, and wood wool cement board.


Disposal method

Landfill disposal

As the name implies, it is a method of processing by landfilling. This is the most popular method of treating asbestos, but it must be solidified to prevent the asbestos from scattering.


Melting disposal

It is a method of melting and disposing in a blast furnace. Chrysotile (white asbestos) has a melting point of 1521 ° C, so a blast furnace capable of processing above that temperature must be provided. It is necessary to maintain a sufficient temperature for melting asbestos in the furnace and to ensure that asbestos does not disperse into the atmosphere during processing.


Detoxification process

It means making asbestos non-asbestos and non-fiber.

The main component of asbestos is magnesium silicate. It breaks the bond between silicate and magnesium to further eliminate the fiber state and make it non-fiber.

By doing so, this detoxification process prevents the fibers from being pierced even if they are taken up by the human body, thus preventing mesothelioma and lung cancer.



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