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Asbestos products & applications: common forms in which asbestos was used in building materials & products. This article 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. This document assists building buyers, owners or inspectors who need to identify asbestos materials (or probable-asbestos) in buildings by simple visual inspection. We provide photographs of asbestos containing materials and descriptive text of asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing products to permit identification of definite, probable, or possible asbestos materials in buildings.
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Master List of Asbestos-Containing Products & Materials: of Forms, Products, & Substances Containing Asbestos
This article is an expanded, illustrated list of the applications of asbestos in a wide range of products and is an adaptation from Table 1.7. Asbestos Applications a list provided by Rosato (1959) and discussed at ASBESTOS PRODUCTS 1959
Here we provide a master list of manufactured products that contain asbestos. Common asbestos-containing building materials are illustrated separately at ASBESTOS PHOTO GUIDE to Materials our extensive photo library.
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).
Note that while this is the most extensive list of asbestos-containing products & materials it is of course incomplete, as asbestos was used in thousands of products and materials and is still used in many. Contact Us to add items and photographs to this list of asbestos containing materials.
Asbestos in many forms was discontinued in all home construction uses beginning in 1990, but beware: pre-1990 products might have been used in some homes built shortly afterwards.
Low asbestos risk in some materials: One should note that some of these products contain such small amounts of asbestos, or asbestos in forms not easily converted to airborne fibers (non-friable), that the risk from the product is likely to be very small. One might elect to dispose of an old asbestos-containing toaster, but not to hire an environmental test firm or asbestos abatement company for that procedure.
Many other asbestos-containing products, both historic and among some current products, encapsulate the asbestos fibers in cementious or resinous materials which minimize the possible release of asbestos fibers into the air.
Note: most of the uses of asbestos listed here are obsolete and the products mentioned have not been manufactured for quite some time. However these products may still be encountered, particularly in older buildings and among old consumer products.
However some current materials may contain and are permitted to contain asbestos. In May 1999 Asbestos Materials Bans Clarification was issued by the U.S. EPA clarified that there are some categories of asbestos-containing products that are NOT subject to a ban.
For example, the Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, or NESHAP) rules issued in November, 1990 prohibits spray-on application of materials containing more than 1% asbestos to buildings, structures, pipes, and conduits unless the material is encapsulated with a bituminous or resinous binder during spraying and the materials are not friable after drying. [Italics inserted by -DF].
These classes of asbestos fibers vary widely in size and also, depending upon the matrix of bonding or adhesive material and the mix of asbestos with other materials, the friability and release of asbestos particles from various materials varies very widely from probably below detection, to very great.
It is also useful to understand that the form in which asbestos was used ranged among a number of forms.
The list below (adapted and expanded from the nearly-complete asbestos product list found in Rosato) lists forms of asbestos-containing products.
Our photo (left) illustrates the use of near-pure tremolite asbestos tiles as fireproofing in the basement utility room of a building we inspected in White Plains, NY around 2005.
The tremolite asbestos ceiling fireproofing panels shown above were 3/4" thick. We describe this product in detail at ASBESTOS FIREPROOFING
A thinner cementious material, typically less than1/4' thick, asbestos cement millboard was used as a covering for ceilings over boilers, furnaces, water heaters, smoke stacks, etc. for fire protection - discussed at ASBESTOS FIREPROOFING
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: (reader comment)
Thank You for all of the information, by far your site has composed the most complete list of items manufactured with asbestos. I will pass this information on as well. Thank You - Anon 4/30/11
Thank you for the nice comment about our asbestos products list. We add to it whenever we learn of other asbestos-containing materials and welcome contributions from readers.
Question: Tell me about beaverboard containing asbestos
What can you tell me about BeaverBoard containing asbestos? - Laurel G. 6/7/11
Beaverboard is a wood fiber product.
Question: How can I know if a ceiling tile contains asbestos?
I have a ceiling tile 5028 MF4 9 REG on the back. How can I find out if it is asbestos? Patrick 8/30/11
Patrick, not recognizing the product numbers you refer to, you'd perhaps get fastest results by sending a small sample to a certified asbestos testing lab.
Question: 1961 Johns Manville floor tile in my apartment - how do I determine if it contains asbestos.
I have Johns Manville floor tile in my apartment that I think was put in around 1961 although might be earlier. It is 12 inch tile. Are there pictures of this manufacturer's tile on your website? How can I tell if it has asbestos? Thanks
Use an approved asbestos test lab to examine a small sample of the flooring. Meanwhile, handle the material as PACM - presumed asbestos containing (non-friable) material.
Question: Reader does not like seeing a list of asbestos products - sells asbestos testing
This "master" list of asbestos [includes ...] speculative, redundant applications of asbestos from decades-old resources like D.V. Rosato's book. [...] Furthermore, it is outright irresponsible to make any claim about "identifying" an ACM by visual means alone. The properly trained and ethical professional may properly make only assumptions about suspect asbestos materials or can use regulatory-defined determinations of certain historical materials and products as "presumed ACMs" (PACM), [...] The only legally defensible manner of asbestos identification is by approved laboratory analytical microscopy methods by properly qualified and trained microscopists, EVERYTHING is a suspect material". Antonio Rico.
Antonio, we're sorry you don't like the asbestos information provided here. A still longer, photo-illustrated list of common ACM products is found at "ASBESTOS List of Asbestos-Containing Products" (article links listed at Related Topics ) - with photos & links to articles of greater depth about individual ACM products.
You are correct that there are some deliberate redundancies in the list of asbestos-containing products and materials. We include more than one entry in the list under different alphabetical headings as that is how we have found people searching for information they need.
You are quite mistaken in condemning use of older texts as sources of lists of forms in which asbestos was used in a wide array of products. It is precisely those historically accurate sources that are more complete and insightful than a modern composer who will be unfamiliar with now-forgotten products & applications. For example, Rosato was one of the most enthusiastic publishers of information about the uses of asbestos. Furthermore, Mr. Rosato is hardly the only authoritative source that we cite in these web pages (see references below).
Other ACM products can be reliably identified by the combination of knowledge of age and appearance, such as certain flooring materials, cement asbestos roofing & siding, and depending on age, asbestos cement millboard. I have worked with quite a few asbestos abatement contractors, some of whom can walk into a building and say "Look, there's Tremolite asbestos insulating board used as fireproofing on that ceiling." Like the corrugated asbestos insulating material used on heating and some plumbing piping, countless field experiences confirmed by lab testing are behind that ability.
Question: does my fiberglass lined HVAC duct contain asbestos in the insulation?
I have an HVAC duct that is insulated with a paper faced fiberglass looking insulation. Is this insulation likely to contain asbestos? The paper facing has decayed and I want to encapsulate the duct but am concerned about asbestos. My house was built in the 60s but my guess is the HVAC system has been updated. The paper faced ducts come off the main sheet metal ducts. - Stuart E Roberts 11/28/11
Stuart, fiberglass is just that - glass fibers, and is not an asbestos containing product. Take a look at the fiberglass articles and photos found at INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE (article link at Related Topics ) for some easy visual clues that can help you recognize the material you've got.
Thank you, I'm 99% sure what we have is kraft faced fiberglass insulation around our duct work. I was adding insulation to the underside of the back half of my house which is above a crawl space and noticed the duct insulation had deteriorated enough that air going to one bedroom is noticeably cooler than the rest of the house. Thinking about the current material on the ducts and the new material I was installing it looks identical. I think I'll go ahead with my plan to encased the duct but wear a bit more protective clothing and a mask. Thank you for your help! - Stuart 11/28/11
Stuart, insulating the ductwork exterior is of course good practice. But in a crawl space that might be damp or even wet, if you can use an insulating product that won't pick up moisture it'd be, IMHO, a better practice and would reduce the risk of the fiberglass forming a future mold reservoir.
Question: find out if an old small cooler I have has been insulated with asbestos
Hello, I'm trying to find out if an old small cooler I have has been insulated with asbestos or a similar product between the outer and inner layers. It's a 40s / 50s small red metal Pleasure Chest cooler, and is rusted through on the bottom - thus, my concern over exposure. I'm sure I'm being paranoid, but thought I'd ask the question - I've looked and looked and can't find any info on it's use in this application. Thanks for the response. - Scott 2/20/12
Your options are to spend [typically[ $50. on a test by a certified asbestos testing lab, or equally reasonable, treat the material as presumed-asbestos-containing (PACM) which means sealing over the rusted metal bottom of the cooler to prevent debris from leaking out into your space.
Question: asbestos in products made by several large companies
Can you tell me what products produced by Georgia Pacific, Johns Manville, and Owens Corning contain asbestos? - Concerned 5/9/12
Concerned the list is just too long for a Q&A; instead I suggest reviewing in particular the roofing and siding products made by those and other building product companies.
Question: asbestos in my chicken incubator?
I have an old, wooden, egg/chicken incubator made by Wisconsin Incubator Co. of Racine. It is lined on 3 sides by some type of fiber board that looks similar to asbestos. Do you know if this company made incubators with asbestos linings? - Carol 5/14/12
Carol, it was a common practice to use asbestos cement millboard in the construction of chicken coops, barns, boiler rooms, and some walk-in coolers. If that's what you have, it is cementious, not friable, and a potential hazard most likely if someone does something foolish like cutting, sawing, grinding, or demolishing to make a dusty mess.
Question: worried that a 12 year old floor lamp is shedding asbestos
I have a 12 year old floor lamp that I noticed has some sort of white material covering the fixture wires that go directly into the part where the light bulb screwed into. The lamp was broken and the fixture globe dangling and I wanted to cut that part off and convert the rest of the lamp stand into a candle holder. Dumb me, I cut the electrical cord right where the white fabric was and then mangled it with pliers, trying to detach it from the base. Now I am worried that the white cloth covering the cord was asbestos and I let asbestos get loose into the air of the house. I'm so terribly worried. My dad says the cloth covering was probably fiber glass because the lamp was only 12-13 years old, but I still feel worried. - Worried 5/20/12
Asbestos insulation on electrical wires is more likely to be found in theaters and inside appliances such as old toasters or ovens, not on a floor lamp. A floor lamp that's 12 year sold makes it manufactured in the year 2000 - not likely that a modern company would have used asbestos in the lamp wiring in that era.
Question: where & how do I look for asbestos used in cook stove or range insulation?
Dismantling a 1950s gas cooker appliance. The oven area is surrounded by a felt like blanket* insulator, the skin of the blanket is a metallic foil material.
I understand cookers between 1930 and 1980 used asbestos. Would you happen to know if I'm dealing with asbestos or other offensive materiel? If you're unable to assist, where would one normally turn? *on closer inspection I note that the blanket is a whitish coloured 'needle' type fibre perhaps 1.5 - 2" thick. Yours faithfully, D.B. - 8/27/2013
Reply: not enough data; are we looking at fiberglass? cement asbestos millboard? Something else?
D: from just your email I can't say what material you're looking-at. Indeed asbestos was used in many appliances as a fireproofing and as an insulator; more often as cement board.
"Needle-like" in your description makes me think of fiberglass but again, without even a photo guessing about asbestos content in an unknown appliance is just so much arm-waving.
White fiberglass, foil faced, may also have been used. To know what you're dealing with would require direct examination, perhaps some very sharp photographs of the material and the foil facing and any markings, or a lab test. I doubt that the cost of paid testing is justified unless some special question or expense has arisen.
Without more information it would be prudent to treat the material as "PACM" presumed asbestos containing material - even if ultimately we decide it was not.
Send along photos if you can. Such added details can help us understand what's happening and often permit some useful further comment. What we both learn may help me help someone else.
Questions & answers or comments about what building products and common in-building products, appliances, mechanical components were produced using asbestos materials.
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