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Lesson 9

What Materials Can Contain Asbestos?

Lagging is a type of material used to fill gaps between walls, under floors, above ceilings or in lofts. It is used to provide heat-proofing and sound-proofing and insulation.

Sprayed and textured coatings
Asbestos could be added to mixtures and sprayed onto surfaces, walls and ceilings.

Community buildings or public areas, such as halls, schools and cinemas, often featured this type of asbestos – sometimes just to provide decoration! Spray coatings would give insulation (sound and heat) to ceilings, especially in high-rise buildings, as well as fire-proofing.

Boilers, pipes and anything that could generate heat were often insulated with ACMs.

Cement and tiles
This is one of the most common types of ACM and can be found in roofing, flooring and insulation. Any industrial, commercial, domestic or public building could feature these tiles and cements.

Its versatility meant that it was a perfect material to use both during the manufacturing process and as part of a finished product.

In manufacturing asbestos would be ground up and combined with an existing plastic. This plastic could then be used to make finished products like:

  • Parts for cars and planes
  • Electric and electro-mechanical parts (e.g., switches, circuit breakers), and appliances
  • Vinyl and PVC tiles

Asbestos has been found in some school equipment, such as old types of Bunsen burners and metal gauze mats.