The Many Ways In Which Asbestos Has Been Used

30 Apr 2024

The Many Ways In Which Asbestos Has Been Used

At OHSS, we're kept very busy by companies across Ireland wanting advice relating to safe asbestos removal and disposal. You might think that since the material was banned in construction in the late 90's, the need for asbestos abatement services would be on the decline, but the reality is very different. 


Why is this? Well, the sheer scale of use during the latter half of the 20th century meant that it was in countless products across a wide variety of industries. So, let's take a look at the myriad of ways in which asbestos - something that was once seen as a wonder material - was used. 


  • Insulation in Homes & Buildings - Due to its insulating and heat-resistant properties, it was widely installed around pipes and boilers, as well as being employed as attic and wall insulation. 

  • Roofing Shingles & Tiles - Another characteristic of asbestos is its durabilty, leading to it being a common ingredient in roofing materials. 

  • Floor Tiles - Again included to increase durability, manufacturers used the material in asphalt and vinyl floor tiles, greatly reducing the effects of wear and tear. 

  • Fire-Resistant Textiles - Thanks to another of its talents - fire resistance - asbestos was also used in the manufacturing of firefighter clothing, fire curtains and other protective gear. 

  • Automotive Parts - Clutch linings, brake pads and gaskets all contained asbestos, as it extended the life of these car components. 

  • Pipe Insulation - In older homes and industrial settings, the material was an effective pipe insulator, preventing heat loss and fires. 

  • Decorative Plaster & Ceiling Tiles - Many ceilings and walls across Ireland also benefitted from its fire-retardent and acoustic properties. 

  • Cement Products - Asbestos fibres were also mixed into cement and turned into sheets and pipes used in construction. This improved their durability and strength. 

  • Electrical Insulation - Asbestos also has non-conductive properties, which is why it was widely used to insulate electrical wiring.


As we can see, the reason why the material is still so commonly found in the 2020s is the enormous scale of its use in the past. As such, the task of eliminating it completely from buildings in Ireland remains a huge one. 

Keeping Ireland Safe From The Ongoing Threat of Asbestos 

The OHSS team has been protecting Irish businesses against the ongoing dangers of asbestos since 2001. It takes just one bout of exposure for someone to suffer from mesothelioma - an aggressive cancer that can strike up to 40 years later. As such, if you suspect the material to be present in your premises, you should not hesitate to get in touch before any action is taken. 


If you'd like to know more about the asbestos services we offer or the work we do in occupational hygiene, visit us today at www.ohss.ie. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to us directly about your needs, call us today at 6905907.


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