A manufacturer of an industrial pipe insulating material that formerly contained asbestos was faced with a complaint of asbestos exposure on a dairy farm in the Midwest. Specifically, the complaint was that the individual suffered exposure to asbestos during the installation of the manufacturer’s insulating product on water pipes in a dairy barn.
We went to the dairy barn where the pipes were installed, inspected the piping, found it to be uninsulated, and that it appeared never to have been insulated. Discussions with local farmers located the plumber who had actually installed the piping in the barn. When questioned, the plumber remembered the project, and also remembered that the piping had never been insulated. He indicated that it was a general practice to leave the pipes uninsulated as the cows would eat the insulation.
This information helped to refresh the memory of the individual, who then recalled that the dairy barn was not a location where he experienced an asbestos exposure.