Is Asbestos still used in any currently manufactured parts, brakes or others? Specifically asking about the USA & Canada, but info on anywhere else in the world is good too.

If it's not still used, what year did Asbestos stop being used? - Just in case there's "new old stock" parts from years ago still sitting around.

I know that brake dust is never safe to breathe even without asbestos, but would like to know what year's parts / vehicles could be especially dangerous or contain equally "bad stuff."

The first few google hits, like this link http://www.asbestosnetwork.com/High-Risk-Occupations/Auto-Mechanics.shtml (with the fine print "Attorney Advertising © 2016 by Brayton Purcell LLP") seems to imply asbestos is still in "millions of vehicles," but I tend to doubt the veracity of "Attorney Advertising."

  • 1
    I was thinking it wasn't used in friction materials since the late 70's ... I was right ... until the early 1990's. Take a look at this statute and this EPA ban article ... very eye opening. Halfway down the list of things not banned are clutch facings, friction materials, disk brake pads, and drum brake linings ... I thought those were all gone long ago. Maybe it's in how they are put together? Dunno. Jul 31, 2016 at 11:10
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 It sounds like the (unfortunate) answer is that asbestos is not banned, and most brake dust probably still has asbestos. if that were an answer it looks like I may have to accept it... (at least in the USA/Canada - I'll edit the Q to focus on them, Australia has a ban apparently, maybe a few separate states like California?). (And the "Attorney advertising" is right too, double depressing ;-) Maybe someone has tested brake parts, sounds like it would be a great bit for a news show
    – Xen2050
    Aug 2, 2016 at 12:41

2 Answers 2


Brake pads manufactured in China are notorious for containing asbestos. It won't be on the label either, so no way for the Man to keep them out of the country.


  • Evil Chinese, that and dog treats.
    – Moab
    Jul 31, 2016 at 21:29

As @ Paulster has stated most of us assumed that the asbestos issue went away years ago. I would like to believe that the EPA has regulated asbestos out of the US automotive manufacturing market. Even if you could legally make asbestos brake pads, the industrial controls needed to meet dust containment would likely be too costly for a $25 set of brake pads. However we live in a global economy. Parts can come from anywhere in the world. The regulations governing those parts are only as strong as local enforcement

  • I'm not really sure how this answers the question(s)? Maybe it really isn't answerable, either. Jul 31, 2016 at 14:06
  • My point was that while you can be reasonably sure OEM parts don't contain asbestos, unless you know the source of any aftermarket or used parts treat it like it does. Don't breathe in the dust , wet everything down to limit the dust flying around. and dispose of any residue in a sealed plastic bag.
    – mikes
    Jul 31, 2016 at 17:50
  • Asbestos was phased out in the 80's in brake parts in the US and Europe, liability has rendered it unusable in any product except for Chinese manufacture, they have no rules.
    – Moab
    Jul 31, 2016 at 21:28
  • What depressing info, but better to know than to not know. @Moab that's what I thought too, that asbestos parts had been gone for decades, if you have any evidence that it is (or at least was) banned that's an answer I'm looking for. But from Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2's EPA link it sounds like in the US federally it's allowed. And tlhlngan's search link it seems only a few US states may ban them, and it seems essentially allowed in Canada too (not to manufacture but to import & use). Australia has banned asbestos parts, but only in 2004, but it looks like they're able to ban them... mostly.
    – Xen2050
    Aug 1, 2016 at 0:19

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