There are very few legal uses for asbestos in today’s world. One of those is for the shielding on the space shuttle and another is in the insulation of the solid fuel boosters.
One use that most people don’t think about is vehicle brakes. It’s ideal in this application as it resists heat. Most of the other products containing asbestos are building materials. Such as:
Construction (commercial, residential)
- Insulation contains asbestos. It can be dangerous because it is often used to insulate homes, office buildings and schools. Homes built prior to 1950 have a good chance of containing insulation still with traces of asbestos. Its use was widespread at this time. This type of insulation is the one most dangerous for airborne particles. However unless you decide to renovate these particles won’t be disturbed.
- Flooring may contain asbestos. Sheet vinyl or vinyl tile may contain asbestos. It was added during production to make the flooring stronger. This type of asbestos product is considered safe most of the time. If it becomes damaged however, or if you decide to cut or sand the flooring, these particles could be released into the air.
If you own an older home and you’re concerned it’s advisable to have your house inspected by a specialist.
Naturally occurring asbestos
Asbestos is a natural substance from metamorphic rocks and deposits of it can be found in most countries in the world. It is still mined today in the former Soviet Union, Canada (white asbestos), South Africa (brown asbestos), and Australia (blue asbestos).
Many countries, including the United States, have banned asbestos mining due to the extreme hazards.