While many homes built before 2000 may contain asbestos in several different structural elements, it may be surprising that asbestos was not used solely in the home. It was also used in a wide variety of different products. Although many of those products have naturally phased out as more modern, more efficient products have been developed over the years, there is still a small chance that you might be using something that contains asbestos and never even realise it.
So where are some of the less obvious places in which you can find Asbestos? Take a look.
Due to the abrasive quality of asbestos fibres, the ‘Ipana’ toothpaste brand decided to include asbestos in its toothpaste, which became popular over the 1950s. It also boasted a new ‘wintergreen’ flavouring and its mascot; Bucky Beaver was perhaps most famous for his appearance in the cult classic 1978 film Grease.
Brake System Parts
In the US, the government still allows the use of asbestos in the manufacturer of a number of commonplace products, including products such as vinyl floor tiles and even automotive brake system parts. Brake pads are likely to degrade over time, producing dust which can be harmful and even fatal if the dust is inhaled and asbestos is present. A good way of checking if your brake pads contain asbestos is to take the car to a professional mechanic, who can advise you from there.
Asbestos ‘snow’ was used in several famous movies of the 20s, 30s and 40s, including ‘Holiday Inn’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and even during the filming of ‘White Christmas’ for the Bing Crosby song. Asbestos was sprinkled on the scene in order to create the effect of freshly fallen snow, without having to worry about the ‘snow’ melting over time.
Because of its heat-resistant properties, asbestos was used in a number of different Christmas decorations to create the ‘fake snow’ effect. It was thought that asbestos proved to be a lower health risk when compared to alternatives, although it is very much the opposite today! More importantly, it is essential that you check through any old Christmas decorations you have lying around the house, as most people keep their decorations for years. You might be harbouring a secret killer in amongst your tinsel if you’re not careful!
Following WWII, surgeons began using thread strengthened with asbestos in order to stitch up the wounds of patients. Chosen for its flexibility, asbestos thread was often used in more serious surgeries, such as repairing wounds in the heart and the lungs. Unfortunately, considering the fatal effects that asbestos fibres have on lungs today, these surgeries often caused more harm than good in the long term.