Asbestos is a natural mineral which can resist very high temperature and is flexible and soft. The three major types of asbestos are chrysotile, crocidolite, and amosite. Crocidolite is the strongest among all three and is resilient to acids too.

Because of its durability, flexibility, and resilience to electricity, heat, and other adverse conditions, they have heavily used for manufacturing numerous products including, pipes, floor tiles, and insulating mattresses.

But, over a period, scientists have started observing various side effects of using asbestos and some of these are life-threatening. Microscopic asbestos particles cannot be detected either by smell or by seeing and if they are once consumed, it starts causing genetic decay.

Health hazards of asbestos

These particles remain in your bodies once you inhale them or consume them and cannot be digested or dissolved, causing fatal and time life-threatening diseases.
The effects of which are not visible immediately, and it takes around 20 years to realize the disaster that it has caused to your health and the environment. Larger the exposure to asbestos, higher the risk of contacting asbestos-prone diseases like lung cancer, pleuritis, COPD, ovarian cancer, and asbestos-related cancer called mesothelioma.

To mitigate the risks of asbestos, science has found substitutes that can be used safely without any health hazards. If you want to replace your home's asbestos sheet with any of the below-mentioned substitutes, you can contact asbestos removal in Melbourne northern suburbs. Their experts are aware of the latest technologies for asbestos removal, and they can supervise the entire process to ensure minimal harm to the environment.

Substitutes of asbestos

1. Polyurethane Foams

Polyurethane foams, a form of flexible foam is also one of the most widely used material in furnishing. It is a type of spray that can also be used for any kind of structure. Since it doesn’t emit any harmful gas, it is very safe to use.

People who are prone to allergies should use Icynene foam, as this water-based foam creates an extremely close-fitting seal; thus allowing no space for either dirt or formation of any mold.

This alternative is also cost-effective as it reduces energy costs yearly by approximately 30 percent to -35 percent.

2. Flour Fillers

Flour fillers are one of the most 'green' alternatives since they are made up of natural resources such as pecan shell flour, rice flour, wheat flour, and rice hull ash. Each one of these is sourced from natural resources and does not pose any challenge to your health.
The flour fillers can be used to fill cracks and crevices, assisting natural insulation.

3. Cellulose fibers

Made from finely torn newsprint, cellulose fiber is one of the most prevalent substitutes of asbestos. Other natural minerals such as cellulose or wood pulp, protein, fiberglass, and rubber are also processed to create cellulose fiber. To increase the level of fire resistance of these materials, they are further treated chemically.
Since it contains around 5 percent recycled content, it is also one of the feasible green substitutes of asbestos. Studies also show that on average it can also reduce annual energy costs by approximately 30 percent.

4. Thermoset Plastic

Low-priced fillers such as wood flour are used to manufacture thermoset plastics. Specific liquid or power is first heated and then molded into the desired shapes, providing an excellent equilibrium of padding and strength.
Due to the low cost of production and its ability to bear extreme heat and cold, it is gaining fast popularity in the construction industry. It also has sound insulation and thus overall acts as a perfect substitute to asbestos.


Research is still going on to find better and more advance substitutes for asbestos. Companies understand the disaster asbestos can cause to humanity today and in the long run, and thus they are also investing in research and technologies.

However, one needs to be very careful when replacing the asbestos sheets with the new methods, specifically for the homes which have been built long back and uses asbestos to a great extent. Do not try to replace or remove asbestos yourself, as it can be accidental.

Author's Bio: 

Caitlyn Bell is an Arts student whose experiences in life make her really tougher than anyone else. She can lend you expert tips on diverse topics ranging from relationship to fashion, making money, health and so on. Her write-ups are a window into her thoughts and knowledg.