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Asbestos in the Home: Carpet Underlay

We have covered some places that asbestos might be found within the home on our blog, but carpet underlay has not been one of them. Recently, concerns have been raised in Australia about carpet underlay being contaminated with asbestos. The contamination stems from the recycling of hessian bags used to transport asbestos up until the early 1970s.


It is important to note that asbestos fibers are considered most dangerous when disturbed and they become airborne. Simply walking on a carpet with asbestos-contaminated underlay is relatively safe. But ripping up carpet during remodels or renovations might be a cause for concern.

The only way to keep you and your family one hundred percent safe from the possibility of asbestos exposure is by having a professional test for the presence of asbestos fibers within your carpet underlay. If asbestos is present, a licensed professional should remove and dispose of your carpet underlay for you. Exposure to any level of asbestos fibers can lead to dangerous respiratory diseases, including mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma develops after asbestos fibers have become trapped within different areas of the body. Over time, tumors can form that slowly restrict a person's ability to breath. Eventually, the condition can become fatal.

If you are planning on remodeling or renovating a home built before 1990, use caution. It is likely that asbestos is present in some of the original materials used to build the house.


Hi Katie,

I never thought that carpets can be contaminated by asbestos. I mean, I basically grew up in a carpeted floor, and so does my nieces and nephews today. You're article helped me know what I need to do and precautionary measures I need to take, especially since my nephews and nieces are so young, that their immune system is basically prone to anything. Will share this so people would know what to do, especially does living in carpeted floors.

Thank you for your comment and for sharing this information! It is amazing how many products asbestos has been used within, isn't it? Fortunately, carpet underlay does not pose a hazard to your health unless it is exposed or disturbed. Awareness is one way to stay safe from exposure.

A well written article about the problems with asbestos and the possible solutions. I have some of the problems in my home too and use your article as a guide.

Thank you for your comment! We're glad to provide helpful information to help keep them safe from asbestos exposure.

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