What Building Products Contain Asbestos?

  • One of the most common materials used to make flooring tiles has historically been asbestos.
  • Probably the most common hideouts for asbestos are those traditional popcorn ceilings.
  • Any materials that would benefit from being fire-proof have generally contained asbestos, and cement is no exception.

Asbestos is a common ingredient found in almost all building products made before the 1980s. In fact, a huge market has opened up that solely tests products for asbestos, since it has become such a commonplace material to find in older houses. So what products are most likely to contain asbestos? Read on to find out common asbestos hideouts.

Asbestos with muscovite.

Floor Tiles

One of the most common materials used to make flooring tiles has historically been asbestos. Its heat resistant properties and cheap price made asbestos a no-brainer for floor tiling manufacturers. Nowadays, it creates a huge hazard, as floor tiles need to be broken apart to be removed, and in doing so, they release the asbestos materials into the air.

Ceiling Tiles

Probably the most common hideouts for asbestos are those traditional popcorn ceilings, and it’s no wonder when considering how effective asbestos is at managing heat. Think of all the electrical wires that are prone to start a fire in your ceiling. At least asbestos is able to contain that fear.

House Siding

It may be more of overlooked building material, but the asbestos siding was widely popular pre-1980’s. In fact, removal of asbestos siding requires a well-trained team, as siding is a difficult material to remove without damaging. The worst part of this is that there’s really no way to tell if your siding contains asbestos or not. You really need to just get a test to discover what it’s made of.

Pipe Insulation

It’s a wonder that the whole world doesn’t have mesothelioma with the rampant use of asbestos in pipes. Its primary use was to insulate heating pipes, but it was a common material used in most piping pre-1980s. While removing pipes doesn’t usually involve destroying them, it is important to practice safe handling whenever dealing with a material containing asbestos. It’s not as simple as any other pipe removal.

Older decorative ceilings, similar to this one, may contain small amounts of white asbestos.

Cement

As you can see at this point, any materials that would benefit from being fire-proof have generally contained asbestos, and cement is no exception. Asbestos was a common ingredient in cement mixes and a staple of cheap materials that helped prevent fires. Cement is also one of the trickiest materials to remove, especially if it contains asbestos. And this is due to the need to break the cement apart.

Once your hammer touches the cement, small asbestos fibers are released into the air. This means that it’s critically important for the excavator to have an N95 respirator on them to protect their lungs from the asbestos fibers, or else they will enter the lungs and trap themselves there.

Conclusion

As you can see, asbestos was an incredibly popular building material that was versatile enough to be used in almost everything.  Always remember that asbestos that remains undisturbed poses no risk to your health, but once disturbed, those fibers enter the air and become a health hazard to anyone who has the misfortune to breathe them in. Asbestos is linked to mesothelioma and as a result, is no longer a common material used. Be cautious when handling asbestos and always make sure to wear the proper gear to limit your exposure to this deadly material.

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Emily Browne

I'm Emily Browne, a web content enthusiast. I have been working as a content writer for three years and I like to contribute articles about SEO regularly. Also, interested in working on different niches to explore knowledge.

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