What products might asbestos be in?

Until the 1980s, asbestos was widely used, and still remains in use in buildings and homes across the country. Because of its versatility, products containing asbestos might not be easily identifiable, and the best option is always to consult a professional.

Houses built after 1990 are unlikely to contain asbestos. Homes built from the mid-1980s to 1990 will probably contain asbestos, and those built before the mid-1980s are very like to have asbestos.

If you have an older home, asbestos can be found in:

  • Roofing materials and shingles – the strength and durability of asbestos products made them popular with builders. Roof sheeting, roof guttering and ridge capping were all asbestos products.
  • Floor and ceiling tiles – asbestos was often mixed into vinyl because it improved the product’s strength and insulating properties.
  • Underlay and backing to wall tiles.
  • Backing of electrical meter boards.
  • Siding and cladding for interior and exterior walls – flat, patterned and corrugated wall and imitation brick cladding.
  • Fibro sheets under the eaves.
  • Asbestos insulation around old water pipes and flues.
  • Asbestos thermal boards around old fireplaces and gaskets around old fireplace doors.
  • In the back yard – fences, garden sheds, garages, outside toilets, carports and dog kennels were all built using asbestos products.

However it is not just in the home’s construction that asbestos may be found. Asbestos was widely used for its fire resistant properties, and asbestos components were found in small appliances and in mats used for heat protection. Though these items are no longer manufactured with asbestos products, some older homes may have these old products laying around:

  • Old hairdryers.
  • Ironing board covers.
  • Stove top covers.
  • Glues and sealants.
  • Fireproof gloves.

Asbestos was not only used in building homes, but in public buildings such as shops and schools. It also had other uses, and can still be found in the community, in farming and industry, such as:

  • Water and sewerage pipes
  • Fire protection products, to protect electrical wire and in switchboards, and for tanks for holding chemicals.
  • Some paint, some plaster sealants, filters and adhesive products
  • Gaskets and packing products.
  • Brake and clutch linings in automobiles.
  • Gaskets, hoses and compressed asbestos sheeting was used on ships.


Find out more

If you are not sure if a product in your house contains asbestos, play it safe and assume that it does. For an inspection, or to find out more information on asbestos removal from your home, contact AARCO on (08) 6406 2020 or email sales@aarco.com.au