Asbestos Building Materials
Prior to the late 1970s asbestos building materials were quite common. If you do live in a home of this era or older and suspect that you have building materials containing asbestos, please leave them alone!
Asbestos becomes a health hazard when it is disturbed and the fibers are inhaled or ingested. So don't panic and start ripping the stuff out of your house or start cutting, drilling, scraping or sanding of asbestos building materials. This will most assuredly release the tiny glass rod like fibers into the air. These sharp fibers can then become lodged in the lungs.The accumulation of asbestos in the body can develop into a number very serious diseases.
Please examine the diagram and lists below for examples of common building materials that may contain asbestos.
More Common Asbestos Building Materials
- STEAM PIPES, BOILERS, and FURNACE DUCTS insulated with an asbestos
blanket or asbestos paper tape. These materials may release asbestos
fibers if damaged, repaired, or removed improperly.
- RESILIENT FLOOR TILES (vinyl asbestos, asphalt, and
rubber), the backing on VINYL SHEET FLOORING, and ADHESIVES used for
installing floor tile. Sanding tiles can release fibers. So may scraping
or sanding the backing of sheet flooring during removal.
- CEMENT SHEET, MILL-BOARD, and PAPER used as insulation around furnaces
and wood burning stoves. Repairing or removing appliances may release
asbestos fibers, so may cutting, tearing, sanding, drilling, or sawing
- DOOR GASKETS in furnaces, wood stoves, and coal stoves. Worn seals can release asbestos fibers during use.
- SOUNDPROOFING OR DECORATIVE MATERIAL sprayed on walls and ceilings.
Loose, crumbly, or water-damaged material may release fibers. So will
sanding, drilling, or scraping the material.
- PATCHING AND JOINT COMPOUNDS for walls and ceilings, and TEXTURED
PAINTS. Sanding, scraping, or drilling these surfaces may release
- ASBESTOS CEMENT ROOFING, SHINGLES, and SIDING. These products
are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless they are sawed,
drilled, or cut. These products have been used extensively in some areas
of the world.
- ARTIFICIAL ASHES AND EMBERS sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces.
- Also, other older household products such as FIREPROOF GLOVES, STOVE-TOP PADS, IRONING BOARD COVERS, and certain HAIRDRYERS.
- AUTOMOBILE BRAKE PADS AND LININGS, CLUTCH FACINGS, and GASKETS.
Two Examples Of Friable Asbestos Pipe Insulation
What should you do... if there is potential source of asbestos in your home?
Please get it tested especially if it is friable or crumbly. There are inexpensive test kits available; or hire a contractor to check it out.