Asbestos products have been manufactured since the 1880s. Their usage peaked between 1950 and 1975. It is estimated that over 5,000 asbestos products have been produced for commercial and consumer use. During the 20th century, more than 30 million tons of asbestos was used in products. In the late 1970s, asbestos product use dropped after it was discovered that asbestos was linked to several fatal cancers. In 1989, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a ban on manufacturing asbestos products.

Why Asbestos Products were Popular

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that grows naturally and is inexpensive and easily accessible. Asbestos is also durable, flexible, and virtually indestructible. Asbestos provides insulation and is unaffected by extreme temperatures. These factors made asbestos products very useful in the mid 20th century.

Asbestos Products’ Dangers 

Asbestos products are linked to several fatal cancers including Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Asbestos products release asbestos fibers into the air that are toxic when inhaled.

This danger prompted the EPA to ban manufacturing asbestos product in 1989. Even before the ban, asbestos product use dropped significantly. The New York Times reports asbestos product use dropped from 560,000 metric tons in 1979 to 85,000 metric tons in 1989. The Consumer Product Safety Commission now requires asbestos product labels to warn consumers about its dangerous toxins.   

Asbestos Products List

Asbestos Products that you may encounter everyday include:

Building Materials

  • Cement siding panels and roof panels
  • Shingles
  • Siding
  • Roofing felts and tiles
  • Brick and block mortar

Automobile Parts

  • Brake shoes and pads
  • Clutch facings
  • Mufflers


  • Steam pipes
  • Hot water and chilled water lines
  • Boilers and furnace ducts
  • Paper boards

Textile and Cloth Products

  • Gloves and blankets
  • Threads, cords, and yarns
  • Ironing board covers
  • Laboratory aprons
  • Fire protective suits and gloves
  • Theater curtains

Household Items

  • Coffee pots
  • Toasters
  • Popcorn poppers
  • Crock pots
  • Irons
  • Hair dryers 
  • Portable heaters
  • Duct tape
  • Electric fryers, fry pans and other small kitchen appliances

Injured by Asbestos Products?

If you or a loved one has been injured by exposure to an asbestos product, please contact us today.

Published November 17, 2011 by