So we’ve all heard that asbestos is bad for us. But when was asbestos banned, and how do we know when to look out for asbestos in our homes? We’re here to set the records straight on when asbestos was banned, and what type of materials could still be around.
When was asbestos used in homes?
Because of its fire resistant and insulating properties, asbestos was commonly used between 1900 and 1980. Many homes built before the 1980s still contain asbestos ceiling tiles, insulation, piping, and flooring that must be professionally encapsulated or removed for health reasons.
That’s because we now know for certain that asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma cancer, and other serious conditions if inhaled.
When was asbestos banned in the US?
More than 50 countries, including the UK, Australia, Canada, and all countries in the European Union, have banned the use of asbestos. The United States is not one of them. While it may be surprising to hear considering the medical findings surrounding asbestos – asbestos has actually never been banned in the United States.
The Ban Asbestos in America Act was introduced in 2002, but it did not make it through Congress. Asbestos continues to be used in some fireproofing, friction, and roofing materials as well as other everyday products.
That doesn’t mean asbestos is in everything though. In fact, some asbestos-containing products were banned outright, and others were drastically reduced in usage.
When was asbestos banned in homes?
Thanks to some regulations set in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the 1970s, the amount of asbestos exposure in home environments has been drastically reduced.
Because of these regulations, and the safety hazards that had come to light, US companies were asked to stop producing many of their asbestos-containing materials. This is why homes built after 1980 are less likely to contain asbestos.
That being said, companies were allowed to continue selling the asbestos containing materials they already had in stock, so some materials were still used in homes into the 1990s. It is also important to note that it is still legal to import some asbestos containing materials for construction use.
While asbestos hasn’t been completely banned for use in homes, the majority of products used in construction today contain less than one percent of asbestos – or none at all.
When did they stop using asbestos in popcorn ceilings?
In 1973, one of the regulations set by the EPA was a ban on hazardous pollutants in ceiling coverings. Because companies could still use what was in stock, some asbestos-containing popcorn ceilings were still installed as late as the 1990s.
If your home was built before that time, and has a popcorn ceiling, it’s a good idea to get it tested by a professional asbestos abatement team.
Protect yourself from asbestos exposure
If you suspect that there are any asbestos-containing materials in your home, reach out to the friendly team at Asbestos Removal PRO today. We offer professional asbestos testing and removal services, with free quotes and consultations for all our customers.