Cochrane & Associates, LLC

How Many Metric Tons of Asbestos Imported into the U.S. Last Year made it to Puerto Rico?


Source: Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify all types of asbestos-containing materials along with exposure risks for workers and the public.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico, May 14th, 2019 -- While the last producer of asbestos in the United States ceased operations in 2002, the country still imports asbestos from other countries. According to the recently released U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Commodity Summaries report, just last year, domestic consumption of asbestos minerals was estimated at 750 metric tons. 


The USGS also states, “In addition to asbestos minerals, an unknown quantity of asbestos was imported within manufactured products, including asbestos-containing brake materials, rubber sheets for gaskets, tile, wallpaper, and potentially asbestos-cement pipe and knitted fabrics.” The agency goes on to explain, “Consumption of asbestos minerals in the United States has decreased during the past several decades, falling from a record high of 803,000 tons in 1973 to a record low of 325 tons in 2015. Annual consumption has since varied between roughly 330 tons and 750 tons. This decline has taken place as a result of health and liability issues associated with asbestos use, leading to the displacement of asbestos from traditional domestic markets by substitutes, alternative materials, and new technology. The chloralkali industry accounted for all domestic consumption of asbestos minerals in 2018 compared with an estimated 35% in 2010.”


“While asbestos minerals imported into the U.S. last year may have been exclusively used by the chloralkali industry, the USGS has shared that we have no idea how much asbestos was imported into the country in actual manufactured products,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “There are still many products that can legally contain asbestos to the surprise of many. These include cement corrugated sheets, cement flat sheets, clothing, pipeline wrap, roofing felt, vinyl floor tiles, cement shingles, millboard, cement pipes, automatic transmission components, clutch facings, friction materials, disk brake pads, drum brake linings, brake blocks, gaskets, non-roofing coatings and roof coatings. In Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean, there are still many homes and buildings that have asbestos from materials used decades ago, so the introduction of new asbestos products to the region is not welcome news.”


Working to protect the residents of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean from exposure risks, and to help keep companies and institutions in regulatory compliance, Zimmetry Environmental offers comprehensive testing, monitoring and asbestos consulting services. To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their asbestos, indoor air quality (IAQ), environmental, or compliance testing and consulting services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email


About Zimmetry Environmental

Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals, and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs, and general environmental consulting services.

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