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Places and Products to Avoid that Contain Asbestos

Below are places and products to avoid that contain asbestos.

By McKenzie JonesPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and a powerful fire-proofing material. It was widely used in building construction and insulation for decades because of its excellent fire-resistance capabilities. Yet we know that asbestos can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis if inhaled or ingested. Below are places and products to avoid that contain asbestos.

1. Textiles

Textiles, or fabrics, are a widespread place to find asbestos. The fibers can confuse as to whether something is truly safe or not. For example, a dark blue t-shirt may look very nice but may still contain strands of cloth that were once part of a jacket or sweater that gets made with the material. The fibers are small and hard to pinpoint when looking at the fabric on the surface, so it might be hard to detect if there is asbestos in the item.

2. Carpets

Carpets are another common products to find asbestos materials because they get often used in homes and offices for decoration and flooring purposes. But the fibers can be dangerous as well. A small, barely visible dust may be enough to cause health problems if inhaled or ingested. You should also consider the air quality of your home when looking for a carpet to purchase. This fabric gets often treated with harsh chemicals, which may cause negative health effects.

3. Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers are also a common product that contains asbestos. The cotton gins used when making diapers often use asbestos to produce the best product. The fibers can easily become airborne and create a cloud of small, concentrated dust that is easy to inhale.

4. Cement

Cement is another common item that contains asbestos. A type of coal is often used in the mixture to produce cement. However, this type of coal may contain carcinogen materials like asbestos. You should be careful of how you construct things outside your home, especially if they got made of cement.

5. Talcum Powder

Toiletries and cosmetics are also common sources of asbestos worldwide. Talcum powder is a ubiquitous household item. It may seem harmless, but it contains small asbestos fibers that you may inhale or ingest.

6. Older Cars

Older cars that have been sitting in storage for long periods have also been shown to contain asbestos in some parts or materials used on the car. If they got made before the late 1960s, there is a high chance of it containing asbestos.

The engine block of some older cars may also contain asbestos as a fire-proof material. The cars got made before the 1970s, but they were shown to contain asbestos. You should be careful if you find one of these cars or if someone finds a car that contains asbestos.

7. Plastic

Plastic is another product that may contain asbestos. When plastic got first invented, scientists looked for a substance that would be durable and strong but not break easily from the weight of many items placed on top of it. They were able to find enough different types of plastic to meet these specifications. One of these types of plastic is known as vinyl chloride. This type of vinyl chloride got found inside many plastics, including toys, fabrics, insulation, etc.

8. Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring and other products that use vinyl in the production process often contain small amounts of asbestos. The material was used to create a thicker sheet and produce a good grip on floors. This type of flooring does not contain the same amount of asbestos as other types, but because the fibers are so fine, you can be exposed to small amounts of asbestos, even if it is not visible. It can be problematic for those who have been diagnosed with type two or three mesotheliomas.

9. Air Filters

Air and furnace filters often use tiny particles that can be harmful when inhaled by humans. Powdered activated carbon is commonly used in air filters to absorb bad smells and other contaminants.

There is high asbestos exposure in power plants. Workers working in power plants where carbon gets used daily got found to have higher occurrences of asbestosis than others. The use of this product inside homes can also cause health problems if the particles get inhaled

10. Medications

An even more common item on this list is medications containing small amounts of asbestos. It includes cold remedies, vitamins, and other health products. These items get made with small amounts of asbestos in the production process, and they can remain dangerous when they are ingested by children or by adults. You should only take medications that get made with small amounts of asbestos. Many medicines get produced with much larger amounts of asbestos.

11. Pipe Fittings

Some types of pipe fittings may also contain small amounts of asbestos to ensure that the fitting does not get damaged or corrode easily by water or other chemicals. These fittings include gaskets and valves that get created with asbestos materials to be the best material for this purpose.

12. Building Insulation

Building insulation is another common product in homes, schools, and commercial buildings. These products get made from a mineral that produces a flexible material that can withstand many temperature changes. This mineral may be mixed with asbestos or contain enough fibers to pose a health risk. You should be careful if you are working on building insulation or if you live in an older home.

Asbestos is hazardous, so avoiding these materials and building supplies is recommended as much as possible. If you think you may have gotten exposed to these materials, it is important to see a doctor and get a proper diagnosis.


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