Asbestos in Your Home - Mesothelioma Risks
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope.
There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to
strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.
Where Asbestos Hazards May Be Found In The Home
1. Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.
2. Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
3. Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and
ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977.
4. Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.
5. Older products such as stove-top pads may have some asbestos compounds.
6. Walls and floors around woodburning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper,
millboard, or cement sheets.
7. Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and
8. Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or
covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.
9. Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.
How Can Asbestos Affect My Health?
From studies of people who were exposed to asbestos in factories and shipyards, we know that
breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of:
• mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity; and
• asbestosis, in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.