Index Home About Blog
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Asbestos worry
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 02:30:42 EDT

Kay Lawrence wrote:
> I have recently had the good fortune(?) to have been given a small
> laboratory test furnace (gratis).  I haven't used it yet but intend to use
> it for enamelling and small glass fusing projects.( The chamber measures
> w.7" x h. 4.5" x d. 14".)  Front opening door and an ideal, work-top size to
> get me started.
> I wondered what the exterior body was made from and contacted the
> manufacturer with the enquiry.  They confirmed my doubts - it is an asbestos
> compound.  Yet they also assure me that it is perfectly safe to use,
> providing the casing is not damaged and that I don't cut or drill into it.
> Any repair work is out of the question since I am unlikely to find anyone
> who will be prepared to take the casing apart.
> At the moment it appears to be working OK - does anyone in the group have
> any knowledge or experience of this type of kiln/furnace?
> What do you think? - Should I use it or get rid of it fast?

Use it!  That stuff is pressed short fiber asbestos composition that
went by the trademarks Asrock and Transite.  The asbestos used is
NOT the type that causes asbestosis.  The long fiber form of
asbestos that will, after long, chronic exposure, cause asbestosis
and subsequently, lung cancer can be viewed
Even this form is not hazardous upon casual exposure.  I wouldn't
give a second thought to drilling or cutting it, no more than I did
when I could still buy it.  Another very common use for Asrock was
fire proof house siding.  There are hundreds of houses in my town,
as there are everywhere, that have Asrock siding.  No hazard
whatsoever, other than to the pocketbook if one tries to dispose of
it by the book.  

The largest hazard you face IS trying to dispose of it strictly
according to the book.  According to current rules, you're supposed
to pay a HAZMAT disposal company to dispose of it.  As a practical
matter, you'll just toss it in the garbage.  EPA has been trying for
at least 5 years to write new rules to allow such disposal but every
time their effort becomes known, the asbestos abatement industry
buys enough congressmen to get it stopped.  If you search around
EPA's web site, you can find a document that says this in about
10,000 words!

There has been a tremendous amount of irrational hysteria stirred up
regarding asbestos, most of which is stirred by those who profit
from it.  About 99.99% of it is false.  Asbestos is still superior
to the substitutes for many applications.  You'll appreciate the
difference as you use your furnace.  I have a 40+ year old
metallurgical furnace made from Transite board and it is as sturdy
and solid as the day it was made.

> Thanks in advance
> Kay Lawrence

Index Home About Blog