Home Improvement

5 Spot Signs of Asbestos Poisoning at Home

Old and broken floor tiles

The word ‘asbestos’ traces its etymology back to a Greek word that means ‘inextinguishable.’ This is enough to explain the rapid rise and use of construction materials containing asbestos from the 1940s to 1970s. Due to their remarkable efficiency, low-cost fire retardant, thermal, and acoustic insulator properties, they were a rage back then. However, the repercussions of this became evident in the following decades when more and more mesothelioma cases (fatal airborne disease) came to the fore. Australia is known to have one of the highest death rates due to mesothelioma globally, with the majority of them from New South Wales and Victoria!

Hence Asbestos Removal in Sydney and other parts of the country has seen an increase in demand. And for all the right reasons. While old construction buildings have local body authorities and dedicated departments to tackle asbestos poisoning, you must watch out for signs in your own home. Listed below are the five most common spots at home that can be vulnerable to asbestos and need your quick attention: 

Floor Tiles:

One of the most common spots at homes where asbestos makes their home are floor tiles. They are present in the form of ‘asphalt,’ which is used to glue tiles together. Asbestos can be widely prevalent, especially in old homes. Even old vinyl floors are known to contain asbestos that can be a threat to your health. Hence it would be convenient if you had an idea of the year of your tile installations. Besides, if you spot oily secretes and discolouration in your home tiles, make sure to get professional help immediately.    


If you have tiled ceilings at home, you have all the more reason to watch out for asbestos. Besides, popcorn ceilings, known for rendering a room soundproof, are infamously known to contain asbestos deposits. Much like tiled floorings, asbestos-containing tiled ceilings will appear greasy and begin to discolour after a while. In popcorn ceilings, careful examination will lead you to notice the presence of tiny fibres on your ceiling.

Pipes & Insulation:

Another typical hideout for asbestos is pipes, notably old cement pipes. Even your home drainage pipes, as well as old hot water boilers, may contain sufficient amounts of asbestos to affect you with airborne diseases like mesothelioma that can be fatal! While overtly spotting asbestos in pipes and insulations may not be easy, it is recommended that you carry out maintenance of your home pipes and drainage system at least once in six months.

Attic & Storage:

Attics and storages are not the most frequented parts of your home daily, and hence they anyway possess an added risk of asbestos poisoning. It can be especially true for old houses. Asbestos in home attics can be found due to vermiculite insulations. These vermiculite insulations resemble little stones. Their greyish-brown or silvery-gold coloured lightweight pebbles undergo a colour change and end up having a stone-like appearance due to asbestos.

Roof Shingles:

Old Sydney homes had massive roof shingles in line with the architecture and needs of those times. That also means a heightened risk of the prevalence of asbestos in roofs. Like tiled floorings, this deadly substance is present in roof shingles in the form of asphalt. You can reach out to efficient service for Asbestos Removal in Sydney to be thoroughly sure. Although only a professional is equipped to identify and treat asbestos roof shingles, you can spot signs of it if the colour of your shingles appears to be a mix of black and grey.

Asbestos poisoning is known to be fatal in some cases and poses an inevitable danger to your health and home. Hence along with planned yearly maintenance and care, you must turn to professional services to seek help. Additionally, if you notice signs of persistent coughing, chest pain, skin rashes, and swollen fingertips, it is wise to seek immediate medical attention.


Mia Johnson
Mia Johnson is a writer with a ten-year long career in journalism. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and lifestyle. A native to Melbourne, she now lives in Sydney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.

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