top of page

Why Use Asbestos As A Building Material If It Is Dangerous?

On this page we will explain about the history of asbestos, where it came from and why it was such a popular building material.


Asbestos can cause fatal health conditions and one of the top questions we get is:

“Why is Asbestos used as a building material if it is dangerous?”

We will answer that question in this post and give you a very brief history about why asbestos was used and what you can do if you are looking for asbestos removal.

When Was Asbestos Used As A Building Material?

Asbestos has been used for thousands of years all around the world for different usage even before it became a building material. You can go as far back as ancient Greece and find that they used Asbestos to help insulating cooking pots.

Coming closer to modern times will find that asbestos was used mainly for insulation, boilers and pipework.

Of course, as asbestos became more popular there were companies capitalizing on producing more asbestos to use.

The main usage for Asbestos from around 1910 was construction projects and you will find that asbestos was used in many buildings and ships. Think of a construction such as a bridge or roofing and you will find asbestos from this period.

Over time it also became apparent that workers were starting to suffer from lung diseases caused from the asbestos.

Even so going all the way up to the 70’s and 80’s you will find that people used Asbestos in everything from hairdryers, irons and even cosmetics as well as cigarette filters.

As the health issues associated with Asbestos grew, eventually asbestos was banned in the UK from the year 2000.

You can also read this article that will explain all of the dangers associated with asbestos.

Why Was Asbestos So Popular?

The main reason asbestos was used in nearly every building project until it was banned is because of the properties that it gives you. If it wasn’t for the health risks, it makes for a fantastic building material.

Asbestos is:


The material is very strong and that obviously makes it fantastic for building.


This is a big reason why it became so popular, compared to other materials it works out to be very cheap and simple to use.


As mentioned above, Asbestos has been used for all sorts of insulation and it works as next them heat insulator as well as sound insulation.

Fire resistant:

It also is something that will work to give fire protection.

Chemical resistant:

It is resistant to most chemicals, and you will also find that it is resistant to water and electricity.

When you add up the benefits for a building material that is really where it becomes very popular.

The Problem?

The problem with asbestos is the health issues that are associated with fibres that can get into the air and make you ill. Some of these health issues are fatal.

The other problem is that because this material was so widely used, you will find this in everything.

Asbestos has commonly been used in cement, roof tiles, ceiling tiles, floor tiles.

It has also been used extensively for insulation boards, loose insulation for lofts, sprayed coatings, piping and even toilet seats. You can read a guide on where to find Asbestos containing materials in your home here.

In the UK, Asbestos is banned but of course a lot of the materials that we used still remain in hundreds and thousands of buildings.

You will find that asbestos has been used extensively in schools, hospitals, offices, hotels and homes.

How Do You Find Out If Your Home Has Asbestos?

The best thing to do if you are concerned about asbestos is to get an asbestos survey. This will allow you to get feedback on whether you have asbestos in your building. The chances are if your home was built before 2000 there is a very good chance will have asbestos.

The other reason to get an asbestos survey is if you are carrying out work in your home and you are likely to disturb asbestos. In that case it can be well worth getting a survey so you know that the asbestos can be removed, and you will remain safe.

Other jobs that are common to have asbestos removed are jobs such as “asbestos garage roof removal”.

Related FAQ's:

Asbestos Health Risks Explained:

This page will give you more information on the health risks associated with Asbestos.

Click here to

What To Do Next?

We highly recommend that the steps you take to have asbestos removed you keep simple.

The first thing that you will want to do is make sure that you have a qualified company to remove the asbestos. This is because you do not want to make the problem worse, furthermore you will need a licensed company to be able to get rid and dispose of the asbestos safely.

You can also read this guide for a step by step guide on what to do if you have asbestos in your home. 

Although most asbestos removal will start with the survey, we highly encourage you to contact us through this page and we will be able to give you more advice.

You can also read this page that will give you more information on what happens during asbestos removal.

It is very important that you get a reputable company to carry out the asbestos removal rather than a “handyman” or try to do it yourself.

Contact us today through the link below and we will be happy to help and give you a free quote.

We cover all of Northampton and the surrounding areas…

Click here to contact us today…


bottom of page