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How was asbestos used?

Asbestos was widely used in industry and construction from the 1900s, it was installed extensively as fire proofing and insulation throughout the 60’s – 80’s and can still be found in many buildings.

Examples of asbestos use:

  • Asbestos lagging can be found around pipework and boilers. Asbestos powder was mixed with water and applied as a paste. The lagging often dries out and flakes and if knocked or damaged, fibres are released easily. It was used extensively in hospitals and other public buildings.
  • Asbestos was sprayed as fire insulation onto the steel girders and under floors of buildings.
  • Asbestos insulating board was commonly used as partitioning and as ceiling tiles.
  • Asbestos cement products were used to make roofs, wall cladding, and rain water goods like gutters and downpipes.
  • Asbestos was used to make friction materials such as brake and clutch linings.
  • Asbestos was used as a building material in many schools and was also present in classrooms as fire blankets, Bunsen burner mats and gauze.
  • Asbestos gloves and blankets were provided to welders and welding rods were coated with asbestos.
  • Asbestos rope was used by plumbers, many of whom also cut boiler flues and backing plates from asbestos products.
  • Asbestos was used to wrap electrical cable.
  • Asbestos was used extensively throughout the London Underground system

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