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Asbestos Exposure in the Home

The majority of home building products manufactured today do not contain asbestos, however, this is not the case for those products manufactured prior to the mid 1970s. Many people remodeled or removed these products themselves, often without adequate protection. In the course of this work, products were cut, torn, sawed, scraped, sanded or had deteriorated to the point where dangerous fibers were released into the air and inhaled. Following are some common products which were used in older homes.

  • Steam pipes, boilers and furnace ducts insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape.
  • Resilient floor tiles made of vinyl asbestos, asphalt and rubber; backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives used in the installation process.
  • Cement sheets, millboard and paper used as insulation around furnaces and woodburning stoves.
  • Door gaskets found on furnaces, wood stoves and coal stoves.
  • Soundproofing or decorative materials sprayed on walls and ceilings.
  • Patching compounds, joint compounds and textured paint used on walls and ceilings.
  • Asbestos cement roofing, shingles and siding materials.
  • Artificial ashes and embers for use in gas fireplaces.

In addition, many mesothelioma patients were exposed to asbestos in their homes because someone in their family brought home the fibers from work. For instance, the children of asbestos workers have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. They were exposed when their fathers came home with asbestos dust on their clothing.

Home Asbestos Resources

EPA's Sources of Indoor Air Pollution - Asbestos

U.S. Government's Consumer Factsheet on Asbestos

News Stories about Asbestos Exposure in the Home and Community

Asbestos Found in New York High School

Libby, Montana, site of asbestos mine, devastated by health problems.

Up to 30% tested in Libby Montana hurt by asbestos

Asbestos Remediation Firm Owner Pleads Guilty In Fake Asbestos Training Scam

Former Genesee County Michigan Worker Reveals Alleged Improper Asbestos Removal

Health Canada on Vermiculite


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