Contains cement asbestos
Does your Eternit contain asbestos? How to find out
Eternit is a versatile building material that has long been known for its carcinogenic substance asbestos. However, he is now free of it. You can find out how to find out whether your Eternit still contains asbestos here.
Why is the building material called Eternit?
Eternit is the name of a company that has been manufacturing fiber cement panels for many decades. Just as with the well-known manufacturer of paper handkerchiefs (Tempo), the company name Eternit has become commonplace and is used synonymously by many. In everyday life this means. When you talk about Eternit panels, you actually mean fiber cement panels. The Eternit panels available today are a mixture of cement and harmless fibrous aggregates that increase the strength of the products. The additives are not carcinogenic.
Until when was Eternit produced with asbestos?
Until 1989, Eternit panels, i.e. fiber cement panels, were produced with asbestos. From the production year 1990 onwards, Eternit panels were only available on the market without asbestos. The reason for this is a plan that the Federal Ministry of the Interior - in cooperation with the company Eternit and other companies in the industry - has drawn up to gradually reduce the amount of asbestos in fiber cement panels. According to its own statements, the Eternit company produced around half of all fiber cement products without asbestos as early as 1985. The adjustment in the European area took another 20 years. Eternit has only been produced without asbestos in all of Europe since 2005, or has to be produced without asbestos.
How do I recognize asbestos-free Eternit?
You can recognize Eternit without asbestos by the AF symbol on the panels. The abbreviation stands for the word "asbestos-free". The German Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (GefStoffV) prescribes the following with regard to labeling: The labeling applies to all delivery units. The dimensions of the label are 5 × 2.5 centimeters. You can see a white "a" on a black background and a block of text on a black or red background. The problem is that the label only needs to be placed on the packaging. If asbestos products go on sale without packaging, the label must be found directly on the product.
Is My Home Asbestos Free?
If you used to use fiber cement panels in your property that come from a manufacturer who, for example, sold them in large, welded packaging units, it could be that the product itself does not have the unambiguous AF marking for asbestos-free. Then you will not find a clear indication that tells you with absolute certainty that the fiber cement panels in your property are free of asbestos. Still, there are a few characteristics that can help you recognize asbestos and find out if your Eternit has been affected.
Practical tips: How to tell whether Eternit contains asbestos
If you want to know whether the Eternit you use was made without asbestos, you can first search on your own: You have to find the corresponding abbreviation AF on the plate. Caution: Avoid breaking or roughening the panels! There is a risk that the carcinogenic asbestos fibers will loosen and get into your airways.
If you are not sure whether the Eternit contains asbestos or you do not want to touch the Eternit panels, you have two options:
- You can order a laboratory analysis. Professional analyzes cost between 100 euros and 200 euros. The provider is, for example, TÜV Süd.
- If you want to carry out an analysis yourself, you can buy a quick test, which is available on the Internet for around 50 euros.
Advice on all aspects of the question "Does my Eternit contain asbestos?" Can also be found at TÜV and specialist waste disposal companies. The experts will help you, for example, to take the sample correctly and give you tips on how to handle the building material as safely as possible.
Which substitutes for asbestos do Eternit boards contain today?
Instead of mixing Eternit with asbestos, only harmless aggregates have been used throughout Europe since 2005 and throughout Germany since 1990. Today's fiber cement panels are enriched with plastic fibers, glass fibers, carbon and cellulose in order to achieve the desired strength properties.
What are fiber cement panels used for?
Eternit panels or fiber cement panels can be used in a variety of ways. You can often find them as a roof, for example in sheds, garden houses and stables. But even old houses in some places have a roof made of mostly corrugated fiber cement panels. In addition to the roof, Eternit panels are also installed as facade cladding.
How do you professionally dispose of asbestos-containing Eternit?
In the past, old houses, stables and outbuildings were often covered with asbestos-containing panels. If you are planning to renovate the roof, you should hire professional companies with experienced craftsmen. The experts know how to handle the critical material. In Germany only certified craftsmen and companies are allowed to dispose of asbestos-containing materials during the renovation. The costs for asbestos disposal are very different.
Also be careful with asbestos in the insulation
Asbestos can also be found in the insulation. Houses built between 1960 and 1980 in particular often have asbestos-containing insulating wool. The insulation can be installed under stretch ceilings on the upper floor or behind the wall cladding of sloping ceilings and vertical walls. So if you are renovating a house that falls within the critical period, the likelihood is high that you are dealing with asbestos-containing insulation behind stretch ceilings and wall cladding.
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