Asbestos paper insulation found by DF in an attic floor in New York (C) Daniel FriedmanAsbestos Building Insulation
Asbestos & Asbestos-contaminated Vermiculite Used in or on Buildings

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Asbestos building insulation:

This article describes the forms & uses of asbestos as building insulation. We include research and patent research giving details about the types of asbestos used to insulate building walls, floors, ceilings - though that use was not widespread.

More widespread was use of asbestos as a fire-resistant or heat resistant spray, coating, or insulation on ceilings in utility rooms, and on heating pipes, ducts, or on plumbing pipes, and other components.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Asbestos Building Insulation

Tremolilte asbestos ceiling insulation (C) Daniel FriedmanHere we describe the types & forms of asbestos used as actual building insulation, insulating walls, floors, ceilings,

We also cite the use of asbestos insulation on specific building components such as on hot water or heating pipes.

Shown at page top: corrugated asbestos paper insulation found by the author [DF] in the floor of an attic in a New York home, described at ASBESTOS in UNUSUAL PLACES [web page].

Photo at left: asbestos insulation used on the ceiling of a boiler room. This was nearly pure tremolite asbestos insulating blocks glued to the basement ceiling of a commercial building in White Plains, NY © Daniel Friedman.

We describe the properties of this asbestos insulating board at ASBESTOS INSULATION.

[Click to enlarge any image]

To find what you need quickly, if you don't want to scroll through this index you are welcome to use the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX to search InspectApedia for specific articles and information.

Asbestos was used directly as an insulating material in building attics, ceilings, walls, commonly as a loose-fill or pour-in vermiculite, sometimes an asbestos-containing vermiculite.

See VERMICULITE INSULATION - Asbestos in Vermiculite Insulation - for details.

Though the practice was not common world wide, asbestos was used directly as a building wall or ceiling insulation material as installed by Mr. Fluffy in Canberra, as we discuss below.

Mr. Fluffy Asbestosfluf advertisement at

An Australian government survey reveals a quarter of homeowners affected by the ongoing Mr. Fluffy asbestos crisis in Canberra have mental health issues, some as serious as suicide, according to the Canberra Times.

Australian readers concerned about Mr. Fluffy insulation should also see the

Specialty Uses of Asbestos Insulation in Buildings

Hardcast asbestos on heating boiler © D Friedman at Shown here: asbestos lagging, paste, or plaster in a very common application as an insulating coating on older heating boilers.

Asbestos in this lagging form was also used on heating pipe elbows and valves when the remaining heating pipe insulation was provided using corrugated asbestos paper.

ASBESTOS FIREPROOFING SPRAY-On Coatings - used on or in buildings


Reflective insulation, typically foil-based, may have included products that combined a reflective material such as aluminum foil with kraft paper and asbestos backing.


Question: asbestos in ceilings in the UK?

Asbestos insulation label Johns-Manville Corp (C) Daniel FriedmanHello from the UK! I did some work at the back of my shop last year. The original building is over 100 years old - but the back was built in the later 80s. We basically took the cellulose ceiling tiles out and took the ceiling down. We then lined the new ceiling with new fibreglass rolls and boarded it up.

I remember seeing dirty fibreglass rolls when we took down the original ceiling (the place was very dusty as a result of the broken cellulose tiles and fibreglass), but i'm worried that there may have been some loose fill asbestos there as well.

As I say, I can't recall seeing any, but could it have been there in a late 80's ceiling? What type of asbestos was used for loose fill insulation? Am I being silly?

Any attempt to ease my mind would be amazing! - Anonymous by private email 2016/09/22


Straight pure or "raw" asbestos as loose fill insulation would be unexpected or rare in a 1980's ceiling.

I don't have access to U.K. patents but some patent research in the U.S. gives some idea of the locations and applications of loose fill asbestos insulation - it did exist as a loose fill insulating product, typically mixed with other materials to form an insulating product.

Most common was the use of asbestos in spray-on fire-resistant coatings in buildings, used into the 1970's including in the lower floors of the now lost NYC World Trade Center. In 1971, New York City banned the use of asbestos in spray fireproofing. So upper floors of the WTC did not use that material.

Research on the use of loose fill asbestos in insulation schemes, products, and devices


Continue reading at VERMICULITE INSULATION or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.

Or see this

Article Series Contents


Suggested citation for this web page

ASBESTOS BUILDING INSULATION at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia


Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Technical Reviewers & References

Click to Show or Hide Citations & References

Publisher - Daniel Friedman