Installation of quinterra wrapped coils in an elctrical motor - asbestos electrical insulation - Rosato (C) InspectApediaAsbestos Electrical Insulation FAQs
Q&A on Identification of Asbestos Electrical Insulation Products

  • ASBESTOS ELECTRICAL INSULATION FAQs - CONTENTS: FAQs on the history, manufacturing process, products, asbestos content, uses
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Asbestos electrical insulation Q&A:

FAQs about the history, manufacture, visual identification: how to recognize asbestos-based or asbestos containing electrical insulation materials in products & buildings - a visual guide to identifying asbestos in buildings.

Page top photograph: asbestos insulation on electrical wiring in a theater.

This articles series about the manufacture & use of asbestos-containing products includes detailed information on the production methods, asbestos content, and the identity and use of asbestos-containing materials. Page top photo shows asbestos used in an electrical motor.

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Asbestos Electrical Insulation Questions & Answers

Installation of quinterra wrapped coils in an elctrical motor - asbestos electrical insulation - Rosato (C) InspectApediaThese questions & answers were posted originally at ASBESTOS ELECTRICAL INSULATION

On 2017-10-23 by (mod) - exposure risks by removing 30-40 feet of asbestos-insulated wire

If the wire insulation was not friable (crumbles to dust if squashed between thumb and finger) and you didn't chop, sand, grind, saw, or otherwise make a dusty mess, probably the asbestos exposure was below the limits of detection.

On 2017-10-23 by Kid

What kind of exposure risks would I have made by removing 30-40 feet of wire that, after the fact my buddy said it was asbestos insulted

On 2017-07-06 by (mod) - asbestos used to insulate electric cookers in the UK

That's possible

On 2017-07-03 by Will

Was asbestos used to insulate electric cookers in the UK ? I have one that dates form about 1988 and was wondering whether the oven was insulated. It is a Belling.

On 2017-02-11 by (mod) - white powdery substance inside of wire insulation

Possibly there is asbestos, Lindsay, particularly if the wire was used in an application subject to heat, such as theatre wiring or in an appliance. I would not spend on testing the material unless there is some justification.

Do use our page bottom CONTACT link to send me some sharp photos of the wire and of any markings on it, and I may be able to comment further. Also search for OLD ELECTRICAL WIRING TYPES to see more examples.

On 2017-02-11 v by Lindsay Neale

I have some old fashioned copper electrical wire from a retired 90yr old electrician.
When i cut it, there Is a white powdery substance inside.
Do you think this could be asbestos? I can send a sample.

On 2016-08-27 by (mod) - 1940 and 1950 welders that contain asbestos

Seems likely; asbestos may have been used in insulating components.

On 2016-08-27 by sheila

are there 1940 and 1950 welders that contain asbestos

On 2016-06-24 by (mod) - asbestos hazard from L733 labelled material?

733 is an oil heater standard;

Stay safe. You're more likely to be hurt falling off of a ladder.

On 2016-06-24 by Pete

Thanks for your help. It could have been L733 but not sure. The number continued but the rest was cut off. It was an old underwriters laboratory sticker that said armored cable on it, etc. If the dust isn't a major problem I will go on with the project. Thanks for your time.

On 2016-06-24 by (mod) -


I can't tell from just photos if that fabric insulation contains asbestos or not; usually asbestos was used on special-application high-heat -exposure wires such as in electrical appliances such as toasters and range tops, and in theatre wiring; I haven't found records of its use in general-purpose electrical wiring: in sum it's possible but we have no confirming data.

I suspect that unless you're doing something unusual, the amount of airborne asbestos generated by carefully disconnecting and reconnecting wires to terminals even if the insulation contains asbestos, would be below the limits of detection.

I cannot find a UL Standard exactly matching LC783 (double-check what you saw) but there is

UL 783 a standard for flashlights used in hazardous locations

On 2016-06-24 by (mod) - early version of BX armored cable that has cloth wiring inside it. Does it contain asbestos

RE-posting Pete's comment without links [for security]

Hi I have an early version of BX armored cable that has cloth wiring inside it. Does it contain asbestos

I would like to install new light switches and would not want to inhale any asbestos since I'm already exposed at work. This is what it looks like: ... [unpublished links]

On 2016-06-23 by Pete

It also says on the UL tag LC783...and then its cut off

On 2016-02-29 by (mod) - asbestos was used in the electrical wiring in cars

Howard, I don't have authoritative data about dates for the cessation of use of asbestos-wire insulation, but certainly it's possible that asbestos was used in wire insulation or in the wire loom or flexible conduit that covered the wire.

Unless you created or were exposed to a rather dusty mess, I am unclear about what might have been the source of a substantial exposure. If you are or were a smoker, of course, the risks are greater for you.

On 2016-02-28 by Anonymous

I installed car radios from 1965 - 1977 and have recent diagnosis of Mesothelioma. Trying to track down where I may have been exposed to asbestos. Do you know if asbestos was used in the electrical wiring in cars during that period? Thank you. Howard

On 2016-01-04 by (mod) -

Mike, yes asbestos was used in some telephone cabling & wiring. For space and to permit research citations I repeat your question and offer a detailed answer at the bottom of the article above.

Use the page bottom CONTACT link to send me some photos of the cross-section and outside view of your cabling and we can comment further.

On 2016-01-04 by Mike

would asbestos ever had been utilized in the telephone cable that has hundreds of copper conductors wrapped in paper and covered with a lead sheathing? Trying to know if this cable can be easily recycled.

On 2015-10-08 by Md

How much asbestos I may inhale if I work with electric wire with asbestos for about a week. The fabric was torn and creating dust.

Question: asbestos hazards in arc welders? Yes.

(July 22, 2014) Mark Hunter said:
I have 2 old arc welders which I salvaged, one has copper windings and the other aluminium windings. I want the windings to use in our hobby of jewellery makeing. Both are wrapped in a type of paper tape as insulation... Could this also contain asbestos?

(July 22, 2014) Mark Hunter said:
Sorry, Just went out and had another look, the aluminium windings have a paper like tape as well as a laquer and the copper windings have a hessian string coating with a what is now a brittle black woven sheath. same question though


Here is some research on asbestos used in arc welders as well as exposure of individuals using arc welders to asbestos

Question: Anaconda Dutrax C or G , type NM with 600v rating containing asbestos?

(Jan 5, 2015) Chuck said:
Old. Anaconda Dutrax C or G , type NM with 600v rating. This wire insulation sure looks like the pictures
of the asbestos wiring that you have. Is it?


I'm sorry Chuck but just from your e-note I don't know the answer. If you face large possible costs you could have a sample of the wiring insulation tested by a certified asbestos lab (don't send it to me).

If the material is not damaged and is not in an area to be disturbed it might be left alone - lowest risk. Treat it as presumed to contain asbestos.

I would like to see some sharp photos of the wire and its insulation and markings - that may permit us to do some further research.

Question: asbestos used in PCB's (printed circuit boards)?

(Jan 13, 2015) Anonymous said:
was asbestos ever used in PCB's (printed circuit boards)?

I'm concerned my sega genesis and its game cartridges might contain in. The sega genesis came out in 1988 in Japan and 1989 here in the usa.



By 1988 it's unlikely you'd find asbestos in printed circuit boards. In older electronic equipment where asbestos may have been used in non-friable components most likely any asbestos release from those undisturbed components would be below the limits of detection.

Keep in mind that many electronic circuit boards include other highly toxic components that may be released, particularly during burning and possibly during demolition, as is the case as well with plastics in general.

PCBs are of course a separate hazard.


Thank you for the quick reply, i feel better about using my sega genesis now, thank you.

Question: asbestos report cites incandescent light bulb heat shields

29 January 2015 Renée said:
When reviewing our Asbestos report it is noted that the incandescent light bulb heat shield fixture may or may not contain asbestos. I can not for the life of me figure out what they are making reference to. Please explain


Renee I can't of course see your report (you can send it to me by email found at our CONTACT US link at page top or bottom) but an incandescent light bulb is an older technology or "conventional" light bulb that uses a heated filament - unlike newer LED or florescent bulbs.

A heat shield fixture could be hidden away in any of many sorts of older light fixtures such as recessed ceiling lights or even a lamp socket.

I'd be interested to know if your inspector actually saw such a fixture or if rather you are seeing a generic "CYA" remark in a boilerplate section of a report. In any event only if asbestos material is soft, friable, damaged, or easily damaged and tracked into a living area is an individual light fixture asbestos material likely to be a measurable risk.

Question: asbestos in 1970's table lamps?

29 January 2015 Mary said

We took an old table lamp apart from the mid 1970's. Would there be the possibility of any asbestos in the wiring or the felt glued to the bottom. There were some fibers in the lamp on the felt bottom when we tore it off.
Also a few days later, it felt like something was stuck in my left nostril and was throbbing. It took about ten minutes of blowing and the use of saline solution to get any relief. Could this be because of asbestos spores in the air. The lamp was taken apart in the bedroom.

Reply: asbestos was used in some (not all) electric lighting lamps in lamp cords, sockets, insulators from at least as early as 1903


Asbestos was used in some (not all) electric lighting lamps in lamp cords, sockets, insulators from at least as early as 1903 (See Sylvania (1903) below. Its use in felt used to avoid scratching a table surface seems unlikely. However asbestos was used in a paper form in some lamp bases - See Vaughn (1950) in my citations and See Lewis (1935) in the citations below for an example.

I'll add that if the lamp bottom looks like white or white-gray paper that might be asbestos paper. If it looks like green felt, it probably is green felt.

Mary said:

The paper glued to the bottom of the lamp was a white-gray paper. You said that it might be asbestos. We tore it off the lamp when we were repairing the lamp. We did this work in the bedroom. A few days later I had an irritation in my nose that lasted for about ten minutes. What should I do? Is there possibly asbestos in the air? What should I do with the lamp? What should I do about breathing asbestos in the air? Is there anyone I can contact?



If it was gray white paper it may have been just cardboard or it *might* have been an asbestos paper.

Some examples of asbestos paper are at ASBESTOS PAPER DUCT INSULATION

Unless you really shredded the paper, I would guess that the amount of airborne asbestos from pulling off and throwing away a say 6-inch diameter piece of paper on a lamp bottom would be beneath the limits of detection.

I would not be inclined to spend much on this but if you are very anxious it might help to collect a settled dust sample from the bedroom (using clear adhesive tape) and have that examined by a test lab. That cost is about $50. U.S.D.

At ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST you can find certified asbestos testing labs

At DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE you can see how to collect dust samples to send to a lab.


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