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Bans of Consumer Patching Compounds and Artificial Emberizing Materials Containing Respirable Free-Form Asbestos

What is the purpose of the ban on patching compounds and artificial ash and embers that contain respirable free-form asbestos?

These regulations eliminate from certain products respirable free-form asbestos fibers that may cause lung or other cancers.


Where can I find the bans on consumer patching compounds and emberizing materials containing asbestos?

The bans are published in the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) in Title 16, Parts 1304 and 1305.


What is respirable free-form asbestos?

Respirable free-form asbestos is asbestos that is notbound, woven, or otherwise “locked in” by a glue orresin to a patching compound or to artificial ashes orembers.  Because they are not locked in, asbestosfibers can get into the air and be inhaled when thepatching compounds are sanded or the ashes andembers are heated.


What forms of asbestos are subject to the ban?

The bans cover products containing amosite, chrysolite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, actinolite, and tremolite asbestos.


Which products must meet this regulation?

The ban covers the following products containing asbestos:

(1) Products such as spackling compounds, tape joint compounds, and other mixtures that consumers use to patch or seal cracks, holes, or other imperfections in drywall and other surfaces.  These products may be in dry form ready to be mixed with water or maybe an already-mixed paste. The ban only applies to patching compounds to which asbestos has been intentionally added as an ingredient or which contain asbestos because the manufacturer knowingly used a raw material that contained asbestos. When a manufacturer finds out that a patching compound contains asbestos, the Commission will consider the manufacturer to have knowingly used a raw material containing asbestos, unless the manufacturer reduces the amount of asbestos as much as is feasible.

(2) Decorative simulated ashes or embers that are placed under artificial logs in gas-burning fireplaces and that, when heated, glow like real burning embers.  The ban includes material containing asbestos that is glued to artificial logs either at the factory or by consumers using an “emberizing” kit, and also covers artificial embers and ashes used in artificial fireplaces for decorative purposes.

Synthetic logs made of cellulosic material that burn completely are not subject to the ban, nor are electric artificial logs and artificial ash beds used in electric fireplaces, which do not contain asbestos.


Where can I find additional information?

For more information on the requirements for asbestos, contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Office of Compliance (for specific enforcement inquires): e-mail: ; telephone: (800) 638-2772.
  • Small Business Ombudsman (for general assistance understanding and complying with CPSC regulations): e-mail: Please use our Contact Form, which is the best way to get a fast response; telephone: (888) 531-9070.

∗ This document is a simple unofficial description of the ban on certain products that contain asbestos and does not replace or supersede any requirements published in 16 C.F.R. 1304 and 1305.

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