Toaster and asbestos

Anyone who is somewhat familiar with the history of asbestos knows that until it was banned at the end of the 20th century, it was an extremely popular material in various products in many areas. Therefore, the question of the toaster and asbestos definitely arises – especially for much older toasters.

Asbestos was highly valued – for many decades

Asbestos was something of a “miracle fiber,” especially in the last century. In fact, at first glance, its properties are outstanding:

  • no influence of weather conditions
  • extremely heat resistant
  • easy to process
  • elastic and yet characterized by strength

Probably the most famous product is the Eternit panels, that is mortar, which was mixed with the asbestos fiber. Here it was the high resistance to weathering, followed by a firm and yet elastic plate available. Brake linings also still contained asbestos for many decades because it is extremely heat resistant. There was no segment, from the defense industry to appliance manufacturers, that did not use the carcinogenic fibers.

Why it took so long to ban asbestos

People were already aware of the carcinogenic effect from the middle of the last century. But the lobby behind the extremely dangerous asbestos fiber was simply too powerful. Even one asbestos fiber inhaled into the lungs can lead to cancer. Then, at the end of the 20th century, there was a ban in most EU countries. But beware! There are still many countries where there is no ban. Especially in cheaply producing developing and emerging countries.

Determining whether your toaster contains asbestos

But if it is now specifically about Germany, Switzerland or Austria, the exact ban periods are crucial. In addition, any transition periods and old stocks must be taken into account. The Federal Environment Agency has therefore published some figures and information that you can use as a guide. According to this, you have to distinguish between products produced in Germany and imported products. Since links always change, we recommend a search in the search engine for “Bundesumweltamt, Toaster, Asbest”.

Distinguish between “imported before” and manufactured here

The productive heyday of asbestos is from the 1930’s to 1993. After 1993, products containing asbestos were neither allowed to be imported into the UK nor manufactured. Particularly in the case of imported products, caution is advised. This is because there are, of course, enough products that were imported before 1993 but were not sold until later.

Ironically, it is mainly higher-quality devices that are equipped with a fabric mat to protect against the possibly harmful oxidation products of the glow wire. You can findout more about the design and operation of the toasterhere. However, the risk is limited.

Asbestos risk in the old toaster

Although there is theoretically no risk as long as the asbestos mat is not damaged – similar to eternit panels – you should not rely on this. In a toaster, unlike eternit panels, any damage is not even visible. If you own a toaster with a manufacturing date before 1993, you should better dispose of it.

Where to put toasters containing asbestos?

Toasters containing asbestos must not be sold or given away under any circumstances. Trafficking in products containing asbestos is punishable under Section 326 of the UK Criminal Code, as is unlawful disposal. So where to put it? In no case in the garbage can! Dropping it off at a local landfill is the safest option. If you are sure that your toaster contains asbestos, you can also hire a specialized company to dispose of it or buy a special plastic bag for disposal and take the toaster to the landfill wrapped in it. 

William C Arpin

William C Arpin

I like to test products and recommend the best ones, write reviews, travel and spend time with my family.

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