Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber found in rock and soil. It has been used in many products due to its strength, heat resistance, and insulation properties. Asbestos fibers are tiny and can quickly become airborne when disturbed. When inhaled or ingested, these fibers can cause serious health problems such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

Products That May Contain Asbestos

There are many products that may contain asbestos, and it’s crucial to know so you can safely handle these things.

Roofing Shingles and Tiles

Many roofing shingles and tiles manufactured before the 1980s contain asbestos fibers. Asbestos was commonly used in these products due to its qualities as a thermal insulator, fire retardant, and low cost. If your roofing shingles or tiles were installed before 1980, it is recommended that you have your roof inspected for asbestos by a professional.

Insulation Products

Insulation products can contain asbestos, depending on their age and type. Older insulation materials may contain asbestos, which is known to cause health problems when inhaled. It’s important to check with a professional before beginning any insulation projects or working with insulation materials, as the presence of asbestos in an area should be handled and removed safely.

Vinyl Floor Tiles

Vinyl floor tiles manufactured before 1980 might contain asbestos, though it is not commonly found in newer vinyl floor tiles. It is best to consult a professional testing service to make sure your floor tile does not contain asbestos.

Cement Products

Cement products that have been used in the past and have not been adequately inspected or tested may contain asbestos components, such as roofing shingles, joint compounds, stucco and plasters.

Asbestos-containing materials were used in stone veneers until the early 1990s, and some vinyl floor tiles manufactured before 1988 also contained asbestos. Products containing asbestos must be disposed of professionally according to local regulations.


Asbestos was historically used as an additive in many types of paint, including textured paints, roof coatings and industrial coatings.

Automotive Parts

Automotive parts that have been known to contain asbestos include:

  • brake pads
  • clutch linings
  • gaskets
  • exhaust wrap
  • and wire insulation.

Electrical Parts

Electrical parts that may contain asbestos include insulation for wires and cables, gaskets and packing material, insulation around furnaces and fireplaces, and brakes on cars.

Furnaces & Boilers

Boilers and furnaces manufactured before the year 2000 may contain asbestos in their insulation or other parts. Asbestos was used as insulation material in furnaces and boilers due to its fire-resistant properties. If you are unsure if your boiler or furnace contains asbestos, it is recommended to call a professional for testing and assessment.

Joint Compounds

Many joint compounds prior to 1990 contained asbestos as a strengthening agent. Asbestos was used to increase the strength and stability of these compounds, and was widely used in both interior and exterior applications.


Adhesives are a vital component in many industries, and they are used to bond together a variety of materials. In the appliance industry, adhesives are used to attach components such as handles, knobs, and other decorative pieces to the body of the appliance. Automotive products also rely heavily on adhesives for their construction. Adhesives are used to secure brake linings and brake pads to the brake system, as well as clutch plates to the transmission. The use of adhesives in these applications ensures that all components remain securely attached during operation.

Why Was Asbestos Used in Products and Materials?

Asbestos was used in products and materials because of its high tensile strength, resistance to fire, heat and electricity, thermal insulation properties, affordability, and availability. It was also seen as a safe material to use in buildings and other industrial applications before it became known that asbestos can be very dangerous when inhaled.

Are Asbestos-Containing Products Banned?

Yes, asbestos-containing products have been banned in the United States since 1989. Many countries worldwide also have laws and regulations prohibiting the manufacture, import, or sale of asbestos-containing products.

How Can People Be Exposed to Asbestos?

People may be exposed to asbestos through the disturbance of asbestos-containing materials during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling. When these materials are disturbed or damaged in some way, particles and fibers are released into the air which can then be inhaled by people nearby.

What You Can Do to Reduce Your Exposure to Asbestos

It is important to take steps to reduce your exposure to asbestos in order to protect yourself and your family. One of the best ways to reduce your exposure is to avoid disturbing materials that may contain asbestos.

Test for Asbestos Before Remodeling an Old Home

If you are planning on renovating or remodeling, it is essential to hire a professional to test for asbestos first. If any asbestos is found, it should be removed by a qualified specialist who has the necessary experience and equipment for safe removal.

Look for Vermiculite-Based Insulation

Another way to reduce your exposure is to be aware of vermiculite-based insulation which may contain asbestos. If you have this type of insulation in your attic or walls, it should not be disturbed as this could release dangerous fibers into the air. Instead, contact an experienced professional who can safely remove the insulation and dispose of it properly. Taking these precautions can help ensure that you and your family remain safe from potential asbestos exposure.

Wear Protective Gear When Working with Products That Could Contain Asbestos

If you are a mechanic or someone that might come across asbestos, always wear protective gear to protect against inhalation of the fibers.

Call Menges Law Firm

if you have been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma, you may be able to file a compensation case. Contact our law firm today for a FREE consultation.