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Question: Dangers of Asbestos


Dangers of Asbestos Insulation in Water Heaters
Is a water heater with cement/asbestos lining safe to use? It is old and seems to work well. Can you do laundry and bathe safely with it? Thank You


Asbestos insulation in water heaters is dangerous in my opinion. If the asbestos is not disturbed and the dust drifts to where you can breath it, you would be safe. But if it's disturbed and the dust breathed, asbestos can stay in the lungs for a long time and cause different kinds of cancer including mesothelioma. Why have such a dangerous substance in the home at all? I wouldn't and no one should, especially when there is no guarantee that it wouldn't be disturbed.

My advice is to find a certified asbestos abatement contractor to remove the asbestos insulation, then replace the insulation (lining) with a safe alternative insulation blanket. You can buy safe water heater blankets at your local hardware store and use that to insulate your water heater. But please, a certified asbestos contractor must remove the asbestos lining first. Do not deal with the asbestos yourself. Get a certified asbestos contractor to do that. Or better still, replace the water heater cuz if it's that old, then buying a new unit with energy star will save you more water heating money in the long run, plus, keep you safe from asbestos.

I hope this helps.

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