• Dale Allen

4 Shocking Places You May (Still) Find Asbestos

Updated: May 4

Before we realised just how dangerous it was, Asbestos was used in many tools and products for hundreds of years. Thanks to it's high fire resistance and tensile strength we used it in a wide range of industries, especially in the early 20th Century.

Thankfully, we did realise it's atrocious effect on our health and asbestos has been made illegal in many countries.

Unfortunately, however, there are still a few things sticking around where we did use asbestos. We mined and used it for over 100 years of industry, so it's not really surprising that it's still all around us.

If you live in a really old building or you've stored away items and products you bought years and years ago, chances are you still have a lot of asbestos lying around.

So, here's a list of 6 shocking places that you may still find the killer that is asbestos.

Crayons

Believe it or not, there was a scandal back in 2015 where children's crayons containing fibres of the dangerous substance where shipped out of China and into the houses of kids everywhere.

The crayons were branded by Disney and Nickelodeon, and while it's never been discovered whether the asbestos was deliberately added to the crayon wax or not, the fact remains that it was present.

Thankfully, Australian safety officials, after investigating the incident, reported that the crayons should be safe for use due to the fact that the asbestos fibres were suspended inside the wax and could not come loose.

Asbestos is illegal however, so once the breach was known all of the crayons were recalled and disposed of in specially made facilities.

Ironing Boards

I've already told you that one of asbestos' main uses was as a fire resistant material, so you may not be surprised to hear that your old ironing boards used it for heat resistance.

Ironing your clothes obviously requires you to use a hot iron and during the 1980s the head portion of all of our ironing boards contained a large piece of asbestos. This is where you would place your iron in between clothing items.

That in itself wasn't so bad, since the piece of asbestos was largely inert, but with repeated use comes the increased risk of chipping and breaking it. This would release fibres into the air, which isn't good.

Some ironing board covers would also contain asbestos fibres which were obviously more easily released into the air, especially once the fabric starts to fray through use.

Christmas Decorations

Again, before we realised it's true dangers, asbestos was widely used as fake snow. We did this because of it's fire resistance qualities and the fact that before everyone had Christmas lights, we used candles.

If you remember the movies Holiday Inn and the Wizard of Oz, both of these movies used massive amounts of asbestos 'fake snow'.

It's only now that we know the dangers of asbestos that I shudder to think of those actors playing and wading through asbestos fibres and breathing in such massive amounts of that deadly substance.

Artex Ceilings

Artex was very popular in the 1970s due to the somewhat unattractive swirling or spiky patterns, but it very quickly fell out of favour.

Sometime in the 1980s we stopped using asbestos to make artex, but because we spent so long manufacturing it in the first place there are houses built in the late 90s that use asbestos containing artex.

That's not good, mainly because Artex comes with more dangerous risks that just asbestos. And that is because of those ugly patterns I mentioned.

People who didn't like those swirls or spikes would decide to DIY it and sand down their artex ceilings releasing massive amounts of asbestos fibres into the air around there homes.

If you're worried that you don't know what to do in the event you find asbestos in your house or the products you use, you can take the new COSHH Risk Assessor Certification™.

#asbestos #chemicalsafety #healthandsafety #COSHH

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