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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-07-2001, 09:16 PM
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Do head gaskets contain asbestos?

I was cleaning up a pair of 360 heads today and after I scrapped the bulk of the head gasket off I got out the 4 inch grinder with the wire wheel. While I was cleaning off the remainder of the gasket I started thinking about all the dust in the air. Now, I always ware a dust mask while using the grinder but if the gasket had any asbestos in it then I would have a different problem with cleaning up the workshop.
Does anyone know what head gaskets are made of?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-07-2001, 10:08 PM
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Re: Do head gaskets contain asbestos?

I would bet that you had asbestos head gaskets.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2001, 08:48 AM
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Re: Do head gaskets contain asbestos?

Probably contained asbestos, as long as you wore some kind of mask, the small amount you were breathing in won't hurt. The only way to clean it up is to hose down the garage, water is the only way to control the dust fiber, and still doesn't do a very good job. Your mask was probably worthless anyway, asbestos is so dangerous because it is so small in diameter, and your respiratory system can't filter it out. That small amount shouldn't hurt you, just try and refrain from getting the grinder out on older gaskets. The medical problems that asbestos facilitates usually come from prolonged exposure, like the concrete mixes they used to use it in, and insulation. It is only dangerous when airborn, so creating dust from an asbestos containing material is a bad idea. Sorry for the rant, but I work for an Environmental Engineer and I am a NY City asbestos investigator, so I'm a little bit sensitive to the issue.


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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2001, 12:41 PM
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Re: Do head gaskets contain asbestos?

Thanks for the info.
I guess I should have spent a little more time scrapping off the stuck bits.
The carport needs to be cleaned out anyway, so I guess I shouldn't put it off.

post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2001, 01:20 PM
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Re: Do head gaskets contain asbestos?

Old brake pads also have asbestos, I don't know the details but I believe they stopped using asbestos in the early 80's. You should take care if your reworking brakes from that period on back.


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2001, 02:37 PM
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Re: Do head gaskets contain asbestos?

Yep, won't do a thang till about 20-30 years later when you wake-up and can hardly breath from asbestosis and have to carry around your own oxygen bottle to breath from, don't just "HOSE" the garage down to collect it all use a low pressure sprayer and "MIST" it to make it moist and then vacuum it up with a hepa-vac and you should be okay. Hope this helps out, be more careful next time, later.

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