Electricians are ten-times more likely to die from asbestos exposure than the normal person. That’s why it is important for every electrical worker to know about the different types of asbestos, the different forms of material the fibrous silicate minerals are found in and where it is commonly located in buildings. There are several different types of asbestos, and it’s important to take theNational Electrical and Communications Association‘sasbestos safety course so one knows what to do when in contact with the deadly minerals.

The serpentine group is most commonly known as white asbestos and contains chrysotile. This type of asbestos is regularly found in the following locations:

  • Asbestos cloth, tape, rope and gaskets that are used for packing and in thermal and chemical insulation.
  • Cement sheets and pipes that are used for construction and casing for water electrical and telecommunication services.
  • Thermal, electrical and insulation applications are worth checking as asbestos was used for rubber, plastics, thermosetting resins, adhesives, paints, coatings, caulking compounds and sealants for them.
  • Fire-rated doors and structural beams of buildings.
  • Fillers and filters.

Two other common forms of asbestos are the amosite and crocidolite groups (known as brown and blue asbestos, respectively). The usage of amphibole asbestos was banned in the mid-1980s. They’re mostly found in the following two places:

  • Cement sheets and pipes that are used for construction and casing for water electrical and telecommunication services.
  • Thermal and chemical insulation (fire-rated doors, limpet spray, lagging and gaskets).

Two other common materials that to look for are bonded and friable asbestos. Bonded asbestos can’t be crushed by hand when dry and include asbestos cement and electrical metering boards. Other examples include asbestos cement sheeting, electrical metering panels, and a variety of asbestos cement pipes (electrical, water, drainage and flue pipes). Meanwhile, friable asbestos is in the form of a power or can be crumbled by hand when dry. Common places this asbestos type can be found include sprayed limpet, millboard, pipe and boiler lagging.

With that knowledge out of the way, here are 20 common places in buildings that may contain asbestos:

  1. Air conditioning ducts, specifically their exterior or interior acoustic and thermal insulation.
  2. Air conditioning systems, specifically the insulation used in electric reheat units.
  3. Asbestos felts
  4. Cable sheath with woven asbestos.
  5. Caulking compounds, sealant and adhesives.
  6. Ceiling tiles that were made with asbestos.
  7. Cement render.
  8. Ceramic tiles that have asbestos cement sheets behind them.
  9. Exhaust canopies that have internal asbestos cement sheets over them such as ovens and fume cupboards.
  10. External roofs and walls that were made with asbestos cement.
  11. Fuse blankets and ceramic fuses in switchboards
  12. Gutters, ridge capping, gas meter covers, and cable troughs moulded from asbestos cement.
  13. Insulation found around electric light fittings and high wattage.
  14. Internal walls and ceilings that use asbestos cement sheet.
  15. Old domestic-type stoves and wall insulation.
  16. Packing spaces between floor joists and piers that used asbestos cement pieces.
  17. Roof tiles.
  18. Sealant found between floor slab and wall.
  19. Traffic control wiring and telecommunication cabling that uses asbestos cement pits.
  20. Veranda, bathroom and steps for demountable buildings that were made with compressed asbestos cement panels.