Common Materials That Contain Asbestos

Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane Social Banner

Somah Thong

Asbestos Removal Specialist

View Author

Did you know that up to 70% of homes built before the 1990s in Australia may contain asbestos? This alarming statistic shows how widespread asbestos was in our living areas. It was found in building materials and everyday items, posing serious health risks without us even knowing.

We’re going to show you why asbestos was used so much and where it might be in your home. Knowing the history of asbestos use is important to spot the dangers it might still pose. We’ll point out common materials that may contain asbestos, to keep you informed and safe.

Key Takeaways:

  • Asbestos materials are prevalent in homes built before the 1990s in Australia.
  • Building supplies like insulation and roofing commonly contain asbestos.
  • Historical applications of asbestos were due to its durable properties.
  • Everyday items like old appliances and decorative pieces might also contain asbestos.
  • Recognising these materials is crucial for asbestos identification and safety.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a strong, natural mineral that resists heat, electricity, and corrosion well. It was very popular in construction and manufacturing. People praised its versatility and strength in many asbestos usage histories.

The danger of asbestos comes from its tiny fibres. These fibres can float in the air if disturbed. Since they’re too small to see, they’re especially dangerous. When breathed in, they can build up in the lungs. This can lead to serious diseases, including cancer.

Asbestos has several types, such as chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite. Even though they have unique features, all types share harmful carcinogenic properties. Chrysotile, or white asbestos, was most common. Amosite and crocidolite were known for their use but had more severe health risks.

People used asbestos widely in buildings, roofing, and even everyday items like toasters and hair dryers. In the later 20th century, the world learned about its health risks. This realization led to stricter laws and bans in many places, including Australia.

Asbestos was chosen for many products because it withstands high temperatures and insulates against electricity. Yet, its carcinogenic properties were linked to diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. These diseases are hard to diagnose since they appear years after exposure.

Now, we work hard to find and remove asbestos safely. Fighting asbestos contamination is key for our health and safety. This fight highlights the need for awareness and proper handling today.

Building Materials in Structures

In Australia, construction has heavily relied on asbestos, particularly for insulation and roofing. These materials, commonly found in homes, were often used without the occupants’ knowledge.


In older Australian homes, asbestos insulation was popular because it resisted heat well and didn’t catch fire easily. Insulation came in various forms, including loose-fill, batts, and wraps. But, these materials also presented major health dangers due to the asbestos fibers.


Asbestos insulation

In Australian building, fibro roofing stood out for being tough and affordable. Made mainly of asbestos cement, fibro was used for roofs and exterior walls. Despite its advantages, the health risks from asbestos have caused concern and regulation, especially in renovations of old houses.

Building MaterialAsbestos ContentHealth Impact
Loose-fill InsulationHighRespiratory Diseases
Fibro RoofingModerate to HighLong-term Health Risks
Batts and WrapsModerateAsbestosis, Mesothelioma

Household Items That May Contain Asbestos

Many people know about asbestos in buildings. But, it’s key to note this danger can also hide in home items. Older items, both practical and for show, might conceal asbestos. This poses a health risk we might not expect.

Old Appliances

Older home goods, like heaters and toasters, used asbestos for its heat-resistant qualities. These appliances, after long use, can wear down. This might release dangerous asbestos fibres into our homes.

Decorative Items

Some older decorative pieces may also have asbestos. Think of antique clocks and vintage Christmas decor. These items used asbestos to last longer and resist fire. But, if disturbed, these lovely old pieces can be harmful to our health.

If you collect old household items, be careful. We may love these items for their history. Yet, it’s wise to check them for asbestos to keep safe.

Common Asbestos-Containing Materials

Asbestos-containing materials, or ACMs, have been widely used and pose big risks in homes. Knowing these asbestos products is key to keeping our homes safe.

We’ll take a look at usual materials that might contain these dangerous fibres:

Material TypeCommon WusageDescription
Vinyl TilesFlooringOften found in older houses, these tiles may include asbestos for better durability and heat resistance.
Cement SheetsWall Cladding, RoofingAsbestos cement sheets gained popularity for their strong and fire-resistant properties, mainly used in walls and roofs.
InsulationThermal, Acoustic InsulationOlder buildings often used insulation materials that might have asbestos, especially those that look fluffy or grainy.
Pipe LaggingPlumbingThis was used for pipe insulation, mainly in heating systems; old pipe lagging often contained asbestos to improve heat efficiency.
Textured CoatingsCeilings, WallsTextured paints like Artex were sometimes mixed with asbestos to give extra texture and strength.

By knowing about these asbestos products, we can lower the risk of contamination in our homes. Being vigilant helps us make safe decisions and keep our living spaces free from dangerous ACMs.

Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure

Being exposed to asbestos is a serious health concern. It can cause many respiratory problems and deadly diseases. It’s very important to know the risks from asbestos to protect your health.

Respiratory Issues

Breathing in asbestos fibres can lead to big respiratory issues. Symptoms often include a constant cough, wheezing, and feeling short of breath. If not dealt with, these symptoms can get worse, leading to bigger health issues.

Asbestos-Related Diseases

Being exposed to asbestos for a long time can cause conditions like asbestosis and mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a lung disease caused by scarring, and mesothelioma is a serious cancer. If you notice symptoms early and see a doctor, it could really help your health.

Asbestos can also increase the risk of other lung cancers and pleural disorders. It’s very important to find and treat these problems early. Specialists like Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane play a key role in this.

Identifying Asbestos in Your Home

Finding asbestos in your home is important for safety and peace of mind. Recognizing the signs of asbestos detection is key.

Look out for old insulation, cement sheets, and some vinyl floor tiles, especially in older houses. Often, just looking isn’t enough, and you’ll need a professional asbestos testing.

Asbestos detection

Hiring Brisbane asbestos specialists like Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane is vital. They offer expert advice and removal of asbestos.

Visual CluesImportance of TestingExpert Services
Old InsulationAccurate asbestos identificationTotal Asbestos Removal Brisbane
Cement SheetsSafety assuranceProfessional handling
Vinyl Floor TilesPrevention of exposureCertified specialists

If you plan to renovate or demolish, checking for asbestos is critical. Using Brisbane asbestos specialists reduces health risks. This ensures a safe space for all.


In wrapping up our look into asbestos in Aussie homes, we see how crucial it is to be aware of it. Asbestos is found in many building materials and household items. Knowing where it might be helps us keep safe from health dangers.

Exposure to asbestos can lead to serious illnesses like asbestosis and mesothelioma. This highlights why being safe with asbestos at home is key. We should always seek experts’ help for finding and removing asbestos.

In places like Brisbane, it’s essential to rely on professionals such as Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane. They make sure asbestos is removed safely. Staying well-informed about asbestos and using pros for its management protects our health and houses.


What are common materials that contain asbestos in Australian homes?

In Aussie homes, asbestos was often used in fibro cement sheets, vinyl tiles, and roofing. It’s also found in insulation products and certain household items. We detail how to spot these materials in your home.

What exactly is asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral that can cause cancer. It was popular because it resists heat, electricity, and corrosion well. We explain its types and its use in building and making products.

Where can asbestos be found in building materials for structures?

You can find asbestos in insulation like loose-fill, and in fibro roofing because of its strength. Our talk includes how asbestos was used in these materials and the risks they carry.

Which household items are most likely to contain asbestos?

Some older appliances and decorative items may have asbestos for heat resistance. Being mindful of asbestos is vital when buying vintage or used items.

What are some common asbestos-containing materials (ACMs)?

ACMs include materials like vinyl tiles and cement sheets. We aim to give a full list to spot asbestos in your surroundings.

What health risks are associated with asbestos exposure?

Asbestos can cause serious lung problems and diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma. Recognizing these dangers highlights the need for expert help, like from Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane.

How can I identify asbestos in my home?

To find asbestos, look for certain signs and get professional testing. It’s important to get expert guidance if you think you have asbestos. Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane can help find and safely remove asbestos.

Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane Social Banner

Somah Thong

Asbestos Removal Specialist

Somah Thong is an experienced, licensed, and qualified asbestos removal specialist and the founder of Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane. Established on June 2, 2010, Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane has become a leading name in the industry, undertaking some of the largest asbestos and demolition projects in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. With a commitment to safety and excellence, Somah and his team have earned a reputation for delivering high-quality services in the asbestos removal sector.