Places Asbestos Can Be Found in Your Home19th May 2017
For decades asbestos was used in an unbelievable amount of construction materials and was only banned in the UK in 1999. Before this time, asbestos was not believed to be as toxic as it is today, despite it being linked to respiratory diseases since 1898. Today, everybody knows asbestos is a serious health hazard, and its widespread use throughout the 20th century is a regretful mistake that must be dealt with by professionals with utmost care, using protective equipment such as breathing masks and full body disposable coveralls. If you live in a home built before 1999 and want to know about the asbestos that could be present, Asbestos Waste Solutions have put together this guide so you know what to avoid, and when to call the experts in asbestos waste disposal.
Asbestos is heat resistant, flame retardant, incredibly strong and light. These qualities made it an ideal ingredient in all kinds of building materials. However, if microscopic fibres of asbestos are inhaled they can be fatal, as asbestos fibres irritate the lining of the lungs, cause cell mutations and ultimately lead to incurable diseases.
Common materials within old homes found to contain asbestos include:
- Backing for light fixtures
- Ceiling tiles
- Electrical wire casings
- Fireplaces (fire bricks, tiles and artificial logs)
- Floor tiles
- Insulation for boilers, furnaces and pipes
- Plaster and joint compounds
- Soundproofing tiles
- Stipple-effect (Artex) ceilings
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Window putty
- Wood burning stoves
This is a warning to take precautions when carrying out works in older homes. If you suspect asbestos in your home, call an expert for advice and services regarding its removal, as this is the safest course of action.
For the weekend mechanic who is fond of vintage vehicle maintenance, it is worth noting that because of asbestos’ flame and heat retardant properties, it can be found in vintage brake pads, gaskets, bonnet liners, rubber components and valves, and the equivalent new old stock (NOS) parts. When searching through the autojumble, be wary of this often un-thought of danger to your health.
If you own an old appliance for the nostalgia, novelty value, or as a hand-me-down, be careful not to use or operate it. Ideally, you should dispose of it, as asbestos was used to insulate all kinds of electrical products from the 1950s to the 1970s, including:
- Crock pots
- Curling irons
- Deep fryers
- Electric blankets
- Hair dryers
- Popcorn makers
- Portable electric heaters
- Slow cookers
Though it was unlikely for products made in the UK, Europe and the US to be manufactured using asbestos in the 1970s, many products were licensed to be produced in other countries (where controls on asbestos were lax, if not non-existent) and these might contain hazardous mineral forms of Amosite, Chrysotile or Crocidolite.
Asbestos Waste Solutions provide comprehensive asbestos waste disposal solutions to asbestos removals companies, building contractors and the general public. With over 20 years of experience we have grown to become a nationwide supplier of asbestos skips, asbestos collection vans for hire, as well as a wide range of safety equipment to make asbestos removal safe and sound for all involved. To secure maximum protection against mineral asbestos, or to learn more about our products and services, contact our team today.