Recognize asbestos - that's how it works

Especially in the redevelopment area, some entrepreneurs like to fuel the already existing fear of homeowners from asbestos. But the danger arises with most materials only when working unprotected on the old asbestos-containing materials. In order for you to be better able to assess potential hazards yourself and protect yourself accordingly, here's how to identify asbestos.

Distinguishing feature Deadline

One of the most important landmarks for the detection of asbestos in building materials is the installation date. Since 1993, the use of asbestos in Germany is strictly prohibited. This is specified in the Hazardous Substances Ordinance, in short GefStoffV. However, some asbestos products were banned long before, as many of the dangers of asbestos were already known in the early 1970s.

For example, spray-asbestos has been banned since 1979 in western Germany. So, if you know the year of manufacture or the year of production, you can tell if the materials are really asbestos-containing. But even products that were manufactured before the deadline can be completely harmless.

Distinctive color

Asbestos is classically gray. Particularly pure asbestos can be found, for example, in old chimney or oil stoves for sealing the doors and connections. Old insulation often contains only weakly bound gray asbestos. But this makes it no less dangerous, because these gray fibers are already in the air by themselves.

However, the products have the slightly grayish color in common, which can always point to asbestos. Even asbestos boards or a windowsill with asbestos often shows a gray hue. A glossy finish or a pure white sill will never contain asbestos.

Weak, pure or strongly bound?

How dangerous the material in question is in your household depends on the nature of the bond. As already indicated above, weakly bound asbestos has a rather loose consistency that breaks down easily. This will release the harmful fibers quickly even if you are not working on the materials. The same applies to the materials that were produced almost entirely from asbestos. Since there is little binder for the cohesion, the fine harmful fibers can easily escape here.

Strongly bound - not harmless

Even if the heavily bound asbestos found in, for example, roofing tiles or wall coverings is also a major health hazard, this material will not be dangerous until it is processed. Most materials of this type are therefore relatively harmless unless they are removed or altered.

  • weakly bonded - gaskets and insulation
  • pure asbestos - insulation stove and stove
  • strongly bound - Eternit plates, wall coverings

Products with asbestos

Here is an overview of asbestos-containing products in your household. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, because in an old electric kitchen stove or in your iron can also be asbestos. For this purpose, the device must have been purchased at the latest in the early nineties.

For electrical appliances that develop some heat and even ironing, there is a possibility that asbestos is present in the shield. But for one thing that is completely harmless, as long as you do not open the devices and on the other hand hardly anyone has a more than 20 years old iron in use.

  • PVC adhesive / linoleum adhesive
  • Heat protection insulation
  • sewage pipes
  • windowsill
  • spray plaster
  • asbestos wool
  • Roof tiles / Eternit plates
  • Floor slabs / balcony slabs / asbestos slabs
  • Fire protection mats
  • ventilation pipes
  • electric heaters / night storage heaters
  • flower boxes
  • Sheathing of steel beams
  • Wall coverings outside

Special case mineral wool

Mineral wool is often wrongly suspected of containing asbestos. But even without asbestos it can contain other carcinogenic fibers. The specialists who carry out this special treatment therefore treat all old waste with mineral wool as well as an asbestos-containing product.

Disposal and work with asbestos

For work on asbestos and disposal, there are special safety training, which are subject to a state examination. Only persons with this exam are allowed to exempt their house from asbestos, if there are materials with asbestos. These special waste disposal companies come to you with breathing masks and protective suits and pack all asbestos-containing elements airtight in foil.

The disposal is therefore not cheap. For every square meter of roof space, for example, you have to reckon with an old Eternit roof with about 20 euros. With asbestos-containing roofing you can even be happy if the roof is not yet insulated. Because, the fine fibers of the asbestos cover are deposited in the insulation. As a result, this insulation is also a rehabilitation case and must be disposed of consuming. That would cost in addition about 40 to 50 euros per square meter.

Tips & Tricks

For asbestos, protecting yourself is very important, but do not let yourself be driven crazy by companies that may want to cash in just to clean up your home. Realistically check your Eternit plates, these are only after the appointment of the asbestos ban have been installed, there is really no need to pay the expensive special disposal.

Video Board: WTF Is Asbestos, Really?!