You’re probably already aware that older homes might have asbestos in their insulation or in their flooring materials. But there are lots of other sources of asbestos that many people might not know about, simply because they are not as publicized. Here are five common items that might still contain asbestos:
1. Bowling balls – Whether you are just an avid bowler or whether you own your own ball and shoes, you might not know that your bowling ball could have been made with asbestos. The most common materials for these balls was a combination of fiberglass and asbestos (two dangerous materials, used together). Those who spend a lot of time around old bowling balls, like those who worked in pro shops, might have been exposed.
2. Talcum powder – Talcum powder has been getting a lot of attention recently for its dangerous ingredients, but did you know that asbestos might be one of them? This mineral is surprisingly common and is not just found in straight talcum powder. It’s used in chalk, in ceramics, and even in pharmaceuticals. The issue is that talc and asbestos are often found close to one another and there is often cross contamination.
3. Crayons – A recent study into asbestos and children’s toys found that some crayons contain asbestos. Of the twenty-eight boxes that were tested as a part of the study, four contained asbestos. Crime scene investigation kits were all tested, and of the twenty-one tested, two contained asbestos.
4. Clay – You and your kids already know that you shouldn’t eat clay and that it is important to wash your hands after using it, but if the clay that you are using has been contaminated with asbestos, it is possible that even washing your hands is not enough to protect you. If contaminated clay is put in the mouth by an unsuspecting child, they could be ingesting asbestos fibers, which could cause serious health problems down the road.
5. Books and their bindings – If you’re a book lover, this one might be difficult to hear. Researchers have found that many books were both intentionally and unintentionally contaminated with asbestos. Many books bound before the mid-1900s are likely to contain some form of asbestos in their binding, which means that they should never be burned.