Asbestos can be found in property built or goods made before the year 2000. Often, we associate asbestos with being found in materials such as roofing and insulation boards. But due to the low-cost, chemical and heat-resistant, strengthening properties of asbestos it was used for a lot more than insulating homes! From toilet seats to beauty products, asbestos can be found in a range of unusual places. Here are 5 unusual places to find asbestos.
1. Toilet Seats
Some early plastic toilet seats were made from a material called bakelite. This material contained a small amount of asbestos fibres to strengthen the plastic. However, the amount of asbestos in them is very small, and they are considered to be safe and sturdy. Therefore, while you wouldn’t want one in your home, you will be safe if you come across one.
2. Artex Ceilings
Artex ceilings are another unexpected and unusual place to find asbestos! In the 1970s and 1980s, decorators would create patterns and swirls on ceilings using Artex. However, the coating was notorious for containing asbestos. Artex was very popular in homes up until the 1990s, and it can pose a significant health risk. If you have Artex ceilings, we recommend you get them assessed and removed professionally.
Asbestos is sometimes found in chimneys and furnaces because of its heat-resistant properties. Even more unusual but possible is to find asbestos under the chimney caps, so it is worth checking every aspect of a chimney! Checking for asbestos in chimneys can be difficult, depending on structure and position. Therefore, it is advisable to conduct a proper asbestos survey to assess the risk and understand the best way to deal with the material.
4. Bowling Balls
In the 1960s and 1970s, asbestos was contained in many bowling balls! And it makes a lot of sense why, as the asbestos would strengthen the ball, impact resistance and reduce manufacturing costs. People involved in manufacturing bowling balls and those in shops drilling holes into the balls were at the highest risk of asbestos exposure. Those using the balls to enjoy bowling were unlikely to have come into contact with the fibres, but it was still a minor risk. Asbestos is no longer in use by bowling ball manufacturers.
5. Beauty Products
One of the most unusual places to find asbestos is within some beauty products! Talcum powder is a common ingredient in makeup and occurs naturally alongside asbestos. This can lead to contamination of talc. While contamination is less common than in the past, studies have found that some products still contain traces of asbestos even today! In 2019, there was a discovery of contaminated talc in a popular household brand. This increased the awareness of the dangers of contaminated talc and the need for stricter product testing and regulations.
If you suspect asbestos within your property, it is advisable to have an asbestos survey conducted. You can find out more about what an asbestos survey involves at South East Asbestos Surveys Ltd.