4 Ways Asbestos Exposure Happens at Home
Exposure to asbestos can happen nearly anywhere, mostly due to decades-long irresponsible
use of asbestos by industries in all corners.
Asbestos was mostly used in construction projects from family homes, corporate office
buildings, ships, cars and more. There is a high chance your home may be filled with this
Asbestos exposure at home happens in older homes, specifically those built before the 1980s.
The toxic substance, which is the only known cause of mesothelioma, could be built into your
kitchen appliances, hiding in your walls, or sitting on your roof shingles. It could also be laying
on your couch or blended into that bottle of baby powder.
Home Appliances With Asbestos
Asbestos was used primarily for its durability and resistance to heat. It had the ability to
preserve the condition of household elements for decades. Any appliances containing heating
elements or at risk of catching on fire or heat damage were obvious choices for asbestos’
These appliances, along with asbestos, filled American homes with the potential for asbestos
● Water heaters
● Washing and drying machines
● Baking ovens
● Coffee pots
● Popcorn poppers
● Oven mitts
● Stoves and stovetops
● Electrical sockets
● Light bulbs
● Ironing boards
Asbestos Exposure From Renovation Projects
In the middle of the 20th century, newly built homes lined the streets of developing American
neighborhoods. After 50, 60 or even 70 years, those homes no longer have their “new” label.
They’re old, classic family homes in need of renovation. Outdated appliances, deteriorated
foundation and popcorn ceilings are signs of a much-needed refresh. However, old American
homes are very likely to contain dangerous amounts of asbestos, and any attempt to fix up an
old home could be dangerous.
Home renovation projects can lead to asbestos exposure and have deadly consequences.
“Legacy asbestos” refers to asbestos remaining in old deteriorating buildings from their
construction during the asbestos era. Knocking down walls, replacing or power washing roof
shingles, eradicating mold, and other home-renovation projects can disturb this fragile legacy
Any disturbance of asbestos can send sharp, microscopic fragments into the air. Since
renovation jobs often require breathing in tight, asbestos dust-filled spaces, working without
proper protective equipment can potentially lead to deadly asbestos exposure.
Infecting Health and Beauty Products
Although asbestos is not as frequently used in construction as it once was, it has been known to
sneak into products that include neighboring minerals as an ingredient. One example is talc.
Talc and asbestos are often found in the same geographical areas, which means they can be
unknowingly mixed together during the mining process. Talc is ground into a white powder,
called talcum powder, which can absorb moisture and keep skin healthy. It is used in cosmetics,
cleaning products, and more.
The loose asbestos strands can contaminate the powder, putting any consumer at risk. In
recent years, talc products like Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder have emerged as potential
home exposure methods. The company even went as far to pull products with the original talc
formula from the North American market in 2020, replacing the base ingredient with cornstarch.
Workers Bringing Asbestos Into the Home
During the 20th century, one of the most common at-home exposure methods involved the
transfer of loose asbestos fibers from one person to another. Workers in at-risk occupations —
construction and insulation, automobile repair and manufacturing, electrical work and more —
would unknowingly bring asbestos dust home on their clothes, stuck to their skin or embedded
in their hair.
Their spouse, children or even parents could be exposed by hugging the worker, touching the
same household objects, spending time close to each other or even washing the asbestos-
dusted work uniform.
While most industries in the U.S. no longer use asbestos, any repair or renovation jobs can put
workers at risk. There’s still a chance of bringing “legacy asbestos” home from old buildings or
Unfortunately, due to asbestos’ microscopic size, it’s nearly impossible to tell when you’re in the
presence of asbestos. Asbestos is typically dangerous when it becomes AIR BORNE. If asbestos is not disturbed it typically does not cause any health issues as the fibers , when disturbed can cause adverse health affects. The most crucial safety precaution to take is awareness. Educate yourself on the dangers of asbestos and where it might be hiding.
If you are looking for an asbestos testing company in the Albany NY area give us a call! Our sister company Albany Asbestos LLC provide asbestos sampling. Additionally our mold environmental company Albany Mold LLC can provide indoor air quality testing and or mold testing/mold inspections.