In our past blog posts, we’ve talked about some fairly common places to find asbestos: like in your flooring, drains, roof and fences. But because of its varied beneficial properties, asbestos was used in many other places throughout houses built before 1990. Let’s talk about three surprising places to find asbestos in your home…
1. Outdoor Toilets
Although it may seem strange now, back in the 70s and 80s, outdoor toilets were a common feature in many Australian homes. Built in the backyard, these toilet building were often made from the same material as the house, like asbestos roofing, cement or tiling. Outdoor toilets are not common anymore, but an old one may still remain in the yard long after a new inside toilet has been installed. If so, they’re often in a bad state, which makes asbestos exposure more likely.
2. Dog Kennels & Cubbyhouses
Older dog kennels and cubbyhouses were often made from left-over building asbestos cuts or asbestos material purchased from a second-hand building supply yard.
3. Electrical Meter Boxes
Although they’ve been receiving a fair bit of publicity lately, most people still aren’t aware of the fact that asbestos was frequently used in older-style electrical meter boxes. For example, electrical backing boards were manufactured containing asbestos as a fire retardant and to resist electrical arcing. Common brand names used in Australia include Zelemite or Ausbestos.
Electrical boxes were also often constructed using asbestos-containing sheeting as thermal insulation inside the box, with a metal or timber outer construction and a front face mounting board containing asbestos or resin board sheet. The door or cover to these boxes may sometimes also have an asbestos cement, insulation board or millboard lining.
For more examples and images of unusual (and common) places to find asbestos in your home, get a copy of our book Identifying Asbestos in your Home.