When people think about where asbestos might be found in the home, they think of the obvious places: insulation around pipes or furnaces, or in the loft or attic; in roof tiles or roofing materials; or perhaps in tiles used for flooring or sound proofing. Unfortunately for our health, asbestos was widely used before the dangers were realised. Here is a list of some of the more unusual places you might find it.
Plastics, paints and adhesives
The fire-retardant and insulating properties of asbestos meant that it was included in many products. Alongside lead paint testing, it may be worth checking your paint for asbestos. It was added to paint in concentrations of 5-10%, enough to cause harmful side effects to those exposed to it. Since the health risks were identified in the 1980s, asbestos is no longer included in paint, however, properties that were decorated before that time may include it. Asbestos was also included in plastic manufacture, most famously in bakelite, where its insulating properties helped enhance the safety of electrical items. The risk to health is smaller in plastic, where the asbestos is contained in another substance, but care should be taken with damaged items.
There are still properties which have an outdoor toilet, although they have often been repurposed as sheds or outbuildings. Because these facilities were built at the same time as the main house, they are likely to have been built from the same materials, so it’s worth having them checked for asbestos. The same holds true for dog kennels, coal stores and any other outbuildings which were put together before the 1980s.
Asbestos was put into the boards which electric meters were attached to. Its fire-retardant properties made it perfect for preventing fire and insulating the electrical connections that ran to and from the meter. If you haven’t had your meter checked, then it’s worth having that done.
Asbestos surveys offer a comprehensive way of checking your property for the presence of this harmful substance. If you are unsure whether your property might be affected, please contact us today and discuss your concerns with a member of our team.