Inglis clothes dryer details & components (C) InspectApedia.comAsbestos Use in Appliances
Asbestos contained in household appliances or appliance components

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Asbestos was used in some building & household appliances as gasket material, insulating material, or fire-proofing mateiral.

Asbestos might be found in some household appliances such as clothes dryers, hair dryers, irons, toasters, and even refrigerators, though usually that asbestos is well covered and harmless.

This article series provides a master list of the forms in which asbestos was used, a list of known asbestos-containing materials, and links to detailed articles about individual asbestos-containing products & materials found in buildings and in a wide range of products used in both home and industry.

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.

Use of Asbestos in Home Appliances

GE Monitor Top Refrigerator from 1927, Victoria Museums at InspectApedia.comHere we list household appliances that might contain asbestos and we describe the forms in which asbestos might appear in appliances. Asbestos was widely used in many gas & electrical appliances as a heat shield, as a gasket, as insulation, and sometimes as a structural component.

Watch out: Don't panic about possible asbestos in a toaster, iron, or refrigerator. In most instances even when asbestos was used in a friable form it was enclosed within appliance walls or components.

The asbestos hazard from its presence in home appliances is likely to be below the limits of detection unless you disassemble and chop, grind, or saw these materials.

Asbestos may also appear in building or home appliances as a secondary product such as asbestos used in electrical wire insulation in toasters or irons, or in a high-temperature-resistant light bulb.

Illustration: a 1927 GE Monitor Top refrigerator (Museums Victoria) that probably does not contain asbestos. [Click to enlarge any image]

Asbestos was used in these home appliances and possibly others that we will describe on this page: jbroilers, coffee pots, clothes dryers, coffee pots, in cookstoves (Moffatt and others), coolers, cooktops, deep fryers, dishwashers (possibly), ranges, refrigerators, irons & iron rests, toasters, electric heaters, ovens, popcorn poppers, vacuum cleaners, and washing machines.

Other household items used in the kitchen such as pot holders and some ironing board covers used asbestos fabrics.

Asbestos in Coffee Pots

Asbestos was used in electrical wire insulation and insulation in some electric coffee pots.

Asbestos in dryers, clothes dryers

Refrigerator gasket patent GE Monitor Top refrigerator design (C) InspectApedia.comResearch DOES confirm that asbestos was used in some older clothes dryers from the 1940's and 1950's and possibly extending in North America at least into the late 1970's .

See ASBESTOS in CLOTHES DRYERS where we discuss asbestos use in clothes dryers and washing machines, including gaskets and clothes dryer belts and in clothes dryer electrical components.

Asbestos in hair dryers: Hair dryers containing asbestos were sold by many companies including Clairol, Conair, General Electric, Gillette, J.C. Penny, Montgomery Ward, Norelco, Shick, Sears Roebuck & Co., Sunbeam

In the U.S., following a U.S. CPSC study finding dangerous amounts of asbestos release from hair dryers from eleven hair dryer manufacturers, those companies issued a voluntary refund and return policy and they stopped manufacturing asbestos-containing hair dryers.

Asbestos is not likely to be found in a hair dryer manufactured after 1980.

Asbestos in portable electric heaters

Asbestos was widely used to carry electric heating elements, in heat-resistant wiring, and possibly in other components in electric heaters manufactured (in the U.S.) up to 1974.

Asbestos in clothing irons & hair curling irons

Asbestos was used as early as 1900 in irons that were heated on stovetops where asbestos formed part of heat-resistant handles on those irons.

Asbestos was also used in electric irons manufactured into the 1950's: asbestos appeared in an iron sold by Sears Roebuck between 1957 and 1958 - source: U.S. Congressional Record, V. 149, Pt. 11, June 20, 2003 to June 19, 2003

Asbestos was used in iron rests such as Craftmade™ iron rests (Norton Accessories Manufacturers, NY) until 1960.

Asbestos was also used in home and commercial pressing pads and in larger ironing machines and manglers.

Asbestos was used in hair curling irons. (Droogenb1965).

We found patents citing use of asbestos in steam irons and clothing irons as late as 1980. (McMullen 1980).

Asbestos in ironing boards, various manufacturers, using asbestos based cloth, possibly also asbestos based heat insulating padding.

Asbestos used in Refrigerators 

Reader Question: Did the old 1927 GE Monitor top refrigerator have asbestos? - Alyssa 2018/03/11

Reply: Asbestos was not found mentioned in patent research for the 1927 GE Monitor Top refrigerator - illustrated above on this page.

Asbestos braided rope and packing (C) D Friedman (Rosato)Possibly, but my research did not find any mention of asbestos in the description of the GE monitor-top refrigerators. The GE Monitor Top refrigerator was a major product development for General Electric and was widely sold and is still recognized world-wide.

I searched particularly for refrigerator insulation and for refrigerator gaskets and gasket patents associated with GE from 1925 - 1930 to see if those mentioned use of asbestos and did not find that indicator.

Asbestos could also have been used as a refrigerator body or door insulating material, though I did not find that either (yet - I'm still researching).

Other patents from the same era such as Carrey (1930) do cite use of asbestos in the refrigerator construction.

Also Ballew (1925) describes use of asbestos in the refrigerator doors:

Asbestos in Toasters & Toaster Covers

Electric toaster patent  Hirshfeld 1926 included asbestos (C) InspectApedia.comAsbestos was widely used in toasters in several forms including electrical wire insulation, toaster side insulation, and heating element carriers from about 1910 through the 1970's and in some toaster appliances even into the mid 1980's.

Asbestos was also used in toaster covers (Landry 1981).

Butler (1903) patented a hand-held bread toaster (not-electric) that used or might use asbestos as one of the early U.S. patents citing use of asbestos in toasters.

Asbestos was still being used in toaster appliances in 1982 (Zim 1982) and is described in baking and frying appliances in 1984 (Matz 1984).

Other Possible Sources of Asbestos Used Within Appliance Components

Our complete list of products and materials that made use of asbestos is found at ASBESTOS LIST of PRODUCTS

Note that asbestos may be present in still other substances and even products, not by its deliberate use or design, but because it occurs naturally, such as asbestos that is found in some talc powders (amphibole asbestos).

CONTACT US to add items and photographs to this list of asbestos containing materials used in or on appliances.


Continue reading at ASBESTOS LIST of PRODUCTS - home, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


Or see ASBESTOS PHOTO GUIDE to MATERIALS - illustrations & photos of asbestos-containing materials

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ASBESTOS USE in APPLIANCES at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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