An Asbestos removal services technician removing asbestos | Featured image for the Asbestos Removals Brisbane landing page.

The History of Asbestos

The use of asbestos goes far beyond the modern world, with records dating back to 2000 to 3000 B.C. Although its usefulness has been identified for centuries, it wasn’t a necessary material until the late 19th century when large amounts were discovered in Canada and the northern parts of the USA. Historical uses of asbestos prove how diverse it is, and how it became important for a number of industries for quite some time.

As time moved forward, the history of asbestos shifted as effects that the mineral posed on people’s health became more apparent. This made it less and less of a sought after mineral for the industries that had depended on it the most. Nowadays, once asbestos is known to be airborne, it can see people removed from their homes or buildings until it is eliminated.

Are you looking for reliable asbestos removal services? If you’re needing a professional on your premises, or you’re unsure if asbestos is on site or in your home, contact us today or get in touch online for a FREE quote.

Historical Uses of Asbestos

2000-3000 B.C. – The Egyptians

It is found that between 2000 and 3000 B.C., the asbestos mineral was sought after so much, and so highly thought of by the Egyptians that it was used to wrap the embalmed bodies of the Pharaohs. This was done as a way to protect them from signs of deterioration, and because of it’s great resistance to heat. The ancient Egyptians believed that using asbestos cloth would allow the mummified bodies to pass into the after-life unscathed.

4000 B.C. – The Romans

Around 4000 B.C. it is documented that the Romans mined or quarried asbestos all over Europe and the Mediterranean, utilising the mineral in hundreds of products due to its durability, strength, insulation and resistance to fire and corrosion. Ancient Romans were said to have woven the asbestos fibres into a material that resembled cloth, which was then sewn into tablecloths, napkins, and things alike. These products were then cleaned by being thrown into a scorching fire, coming out unscathed, and whiter than when they went in.

1858 – Asbestos in the USA

After large deposits of asbestos was found within Canada and northern USA, the mineral quickly became a common construction material, also used within the automobile industry, manufacturing, power, and many more. Because of its inexpensive quality, asbestos-containing materials became desired all over the country and beyond, with the Industrial Revolution marking an increase in the production of asbestos.

1918-1930 – Asbestos Risks Discovered

Asbestos was being utilised all over the world at this point, it could be found within building materials, used as a fire retardant, acoustical plaster, and even as a decorative material. It then expanded and started being used in products such as (but not limited to by any means):

  • Fire resistant clothing for fire fighters
  • Hot pads used in food production
  • Brake shoes
  • Clutch fittings for cars and trucks
  • Thermal insulation in cat litter

In 1918, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report that spoke of the abnormally high risk of an early death among workers that were regularly in the vicinity of asbestos. In 1930, however, an examination report was published on workers within the asbestos industry that noted one in four workers suffered from asbestosis.

Modern Use of Asbestos

Nowadays, historical uses of asbestos look vastly different all over the world. In the United States of America, the use of asbestos in some products is not against the law despite some asbestos containing products being banned. Currently, all materials containing asbestos should only have 1 per cent or less of the mineral. In Australia, asbestos was commonly used in the building and construction industry, with houses pre-1990 being more than likely to contain the mineral. During the 1980s, asbestos cement materials were slowly phased out in favour of an asbestos-free production movement, and from December 31, 2003, a total ban on all this asbestos came into place. From manufacturing, use, and reuse, to import, transport, storage, and sale of all forms of asbestos, were banned completely.

Do You Need an Asbestos Removal Service?

If you enjoyed learning about the historical uses of asbestos and believe your home or building may contain the asbestos mineral, give us a call on 0412 314 588 and speak with an asbestos professional. For a FREE quote on our removal service, contact us online and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Call Now Button