Asbestos is a group of natural minerals. Fibres that make up asbestos are tiny, but very strong. They resist heat and cold.  

Products made from asbestos 

Parts of buildings, cars and other products can contain asbestos, including:

  • fibre cement sheeting and piping 
  • vinyl floor tiles 
  • electrical parts
  • brake pads in vehicles.

Find out more about materials that contain asbestos.

Asbestos and health 

Dust from asbestos contains asbestos fibres. If we breathe this in, the fibres can cause: 

  • lung inflammation, scarring and other lung conditions, including cancer 
  • mesothelioma – a rare form of cancer.  

Cancer and other serious conditions are more likely to develop after many years of exposure to asbestos. Find out more about risks to human health from asbestos

Read more about asbestos

Asbestos and EPA’s role

Find an asbestos landfill

How to remove asbestos from your home

Managing asbestos waste – for industry

Reviewed 28 February 2020