Asbestos in Ovens – Even at the BBQ

The common notion of asbestos today is that it was once used, then found being extremely dangerous and subsequently not used anymore. This might be true in some world nations, but what about the legacy of the asbestos already installed in various components in our older homes or in installatons in the vicinity of our older homes?
Asbestos has gotten the attention as being mainly a hazard for workers exposed to high dust levels of asbestos when they were applying or mixing asbestos into products or construction materials. Now, asbestos use is regulated or banned, so we all assume the hazard of asbestos materials is no longer an issue. Is this a correct assumption?
No, today scientific studies has confirmed that domestic exposure caused by disturbing or demolishing asbestos-containing materials is no different from industrial exposure when manufacturing the same materials in an industrial setting. Home demolition and renovation can cause similar concentrations of asbestos in inhalable air, thus exposing people again today, once again when the asbestos fibers are released from those activities.

At first look, many of us find old deteriorating materials as charming history of a time once lived. We look at this with respect and admiration. Who hasn’t seen an ancestors work of art, for example an outdoor barbequeue oven in your parents backyard, feeling the impact of history and legacy from what they brought into this world:

Asbestos in ovens – outdoor BBQ

asbestos in ovens
Typical backyard barbequeue oven

We look at this with love, sometimes ignorant of what is lurking in the building materials used.
What is lost is in this nostalgia is often that there is asbestos in the materials used. For an outdoor BBQ asbestos was perfect for high temperature situations, protecting and insulating the core material of the BBQ oven from heat damage. Thus, asbestos in ovens was commonly applied.
Here is an excerpt of someone found worried about asbestos exposure from having demolished a vintage outdoor barbequeue installation, remaining in the backyard:

“A friend of mine owns a house that was built in 1954, we were working this weekend to knock down an old and decrepit outdoor barbecue in his backyard. We wore leather gloves the whole time, but about half way through I suggested we at least grab some N95 rated dust masks (which I know aren’t sufficient for Asbestos, but there was still a lot of concrete dust and dirt floating around I didn’t want in my lungs), but I’m still wondering if this possibly contained some Asbestos in ovens flue linings or other stuff we should be concerned over having inhaled as we still need to complete more and clean it all up. FYI we have no idea if this was added at the same time the house was built or some time thereafter, all demolition was done outside and there was a decent wind the came and went.”

asbestos in ovens
Asbestos in oven released
asbestos in ovens
Asbestos in ovens – boards inside oven

asbestos in ovens
Asbetstos released from deomolition
asbestos in ovens
Asbestos in ovens flue lining

The persons demolishing this oven realized the asbestos danger too late. They had already demolished the barbequeue oven without proper protection, while it is almost certain that there is asbestos in ovens material. What can be ascertained is that they were exposed to asbestos, and possibly exposing family members through clothes they wore during demolition. It is impossible to predict if this instance of asbestos exposure will mean that they will acquire an asbestos-related disease. It is a form of russian roulette, feeding angst from not knowing what will happen decades from now, since asbestos-related diseases typically develop decades after the actual exposure.


“Would an outdoor barbecue contain asbestos?”

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This article has 1 Comment

  1. Well I have an old brick stove in the back yard that we use all the time. I had never considered there could be asbestos in it. It make me not really want to use it any more. I think I will have to get someone over to check it out. I don’t want to take a risk when it comes to something as dangerous as asbestos.

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