Asbestos in classic cars
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Asbestos in classic cars

Classic car shows ramp up as summer rolls around. The vintage vehicles are favorites of many, with the hobby of restoration bringing nostalgia and joy. However, enthusiasts may be at risk because of the materials used in past car construction.

Asbestos, a dangerous material that has largely been regulated because of its effects on health, can be found in several vehicle parts, including these:

  • Upholstery
  • Plastics
  • Brakes
  • Clutches
  • Air hoses
  • Automobile hoses
  • Body construction
  • Engine components
  • Gaskets
  • Heat seals
  • Insulation
  • Hood liners
  • Mufflers
  • Valve rings

Cars built before 1999 will likely have asbestos in some of these components as this was before we understood the impact of asbestos and regulated asbestos. Exposure to the hazardous material can lead to lung damage like asbestosis and even cancerous mesothelioma.

As a car restoration enthusiast, it’s important that you know how to deal with asbestos in the vehicles you are working with. First, be careful not to release the asbestos into the air because it is the inhalation that creates health issues.

You should replace all components of the vehicle that have asbestos. You can remove, clean and replace them with specialized tools, including vacuums, compressed air hoses, wet methods and solvent sprays. It’s always wise to work with professional asbestos removal services instead of trying to do it yourself.

While vintage cars are a fun hobby, don’t put your life at risk for them. Be careful in protecting yourself and your loved ones from asbestos exposure by properly cleaning and replacing all parts that may be infected.