Asbestos fiber is carcinogenic in nature and can harm human health and the environment in a greater number of ways than you can fathom. Most famously, manufacturers of building and construction products heavily relied on this fiber during the building boom of the 20th century.
Remember the insulation, popcorn ceilings, and floor tiles in older homes?
However, companies included asbestos in consumer products as well, such as gardening tools. Many manufacturers abandoned asbestos products in the wake of current United States’ regulations.
However, here’s an unwelcome surprise for most readers. While US companies can no longer mine the product, many still use it.
Additionally, the country’s federal organizations now issue rules and policies for removing asbestos from homes. However, they do not ban it from importation from foreign countries. In fact, it is largely up to consumers to investigate what we put into our bodies.
What Should You Do if You Think You Might Have Asbestos in Your Home
If you think your home may contain asbestos and you want to get it sampled, call a certified asbestos removal professional for an immediate inspection. The trained professionals will retrieve samples from various locations of your house or office, and test them in a certified laboratory.
If the technician locates asbestos in the sample, upon further inspection and speculation, he or she will plan for safe asbestos removal. Asbestos removal is not compulsory if the material consisting it is in good condition and not crumbling. However, if the material exposes asbestos fibers, then you must have it removed right away.
Not everyone can remove asbestos. And not everyone should remove the material. One must be trained by a certified company to conduct the process. It is a complex task that requires skill and technique.
So without much ado, call the professionals to complete the work. Furthermore, here’s a list of common places or materials containing asbestos.
Twelve Common Household Products That Contain Asbestos
In the 20th century, product peddlers used asbestos in different forms and types. They primarily used it in construction, chemical, and manufacturing industries. Perhaps not so surprisingly, several developing nations today, including India, Russia, Mexico, and China, still include it in everyday products.
12 Places where these fibers are “hiding” in your home…
Here are some places where asbestos may lurk in your home, unbeknownst to you.
1 – Electrical components:
Shielding, molded cement bases, wire insulation, and cable wrap generally contain asbestos.
2 – Fireproofing materials:
Consider the heat-repelling properties of the fibers. Foreign manufacturers might use it in spray-on fireproofing, tar paper, gears for firefighters, and paint for fireproofing.
3 – Plastics with asbestos:
Asbestos is used in plastic to strengthen the material. It is found in cookware, tools, vehicle accessories, and cooking appliances.
4 – Consumer products:
Here are some random products that might contain these dangerous fibers.
- Fake snow in cans for Christmas
- Older cooking appliances
- Hairdryer ( used for insulation of the heating element)
- Gas ranges
5 – Textiles:
Asbestos is extensively used by the textile industry in many countries for producing fire blankets, protective gear, and upholsteries.
6 – Cement sheets:
You will find the fibers in roof shingles, flat and corrugated cement sheets, drywall, and roof siding.
7 – Talcum powder:
Test results proved that even popular baby brands used asbestos-contaminated talc in baby powder and other personal hygiene products. So always choose a doctor-recommended brand to use on your infants. Additionally, try to avoid talcum powders on them completely.
8 – Residential and commercial gaskets:
Used in heat resistance parts for joining seals, such as gas oven hoses and valves, asbestos makes these heat resistant.
9 – Zonolite insulation:
Most pour-in attic insulations are made from asbestos-contaminated vermiculite. If the attic is warping due to water damage or mold growth, contact Erie Environmental (or your local remediation provider) immediately to solve the problem. Of course, and this bears repeating, you should not remove the fibers yourself!
9 – Make-up and Cosmetic products:
You might even find it in foreign-made cosmetic products. Think of the following items:
- compact setting powder
- powder foundation
- eye shadow
- talcum powders
These items may include contaminated talc among its ingredients.
10 – Adhesives:
To strengthen the bond of construction materials, manufacturers mix these fibers in adhesives, such as pipe lagging, duct tape, floor glue, wall panels, roof sealants, sheet flooring, wallpaper, furnace cement, and ceiling tiles.
11 – Lab equipment:
Specific lab equipment makers often use asbestos for durability and resistance. While most are unlikely to have these in their homes, some who work in various science fields might have these items. Some parts that include it are the following:
- Laboratory fume hoods
- Insulation lining
- Gauze gloves and pads
- Bunsen burner mats.
12 – Cigarette filters:
While this ingredient is now completely stopped in cigarette filters. However, manufacturers used it extensively between the years 1952 and 1956. Most notably, you might recall Kent Micronite cigarettes. So technically, you probably won’t find these in your home. However, if you travel to foreign places, it’s worth being aware of this possibility!
The Bottom Line: Conduct Product Research to Verify No Asbestos
Have you read DIY Home & Garden for a while? If so, this is a familiar refrain to you. As a consumer, you bear 100% responsibility for ensuring your safety and wellness while shopping. Perhaps you perused our rant about the toxic chemicals in dryer sheets or steering clear of chemical mosquito repellants.
These are valid concerns. In particular, be careful when you buy foreign-manufactured products. That’s because these may contain asbestos, and it’s legal for them to distribute in the USA.