We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Asbestos' Impact on Indoor Air Quality

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance it has been used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Asbestos has been used in a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in:

  • Building materials:
    • Roofing shingles
    • Ceiling and floor tiles
    • Paper products
    • Asbestos cement products
  • Friction products:
    • Automobile clutch
    • Automobile brake
    • Transmission parts
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Packaging
  • Gaskets
  • Coatings

Elevated concentrations of airborne asbestos can occur after asbestos-containing materials are disturbed by cutting, sanding or other remodeling activities. Improper attempts to remove these materials can release asbestos fibers into the air in homes, increasing asbestos levels and endangering people living in those homes.