I saw a mini-documentary today from a German show in English called In Focus, it was an expose on asbestos contained in Chinese produced thermoses.

The documentary and as an example this website claim that asbestos is quite prevalent in Chinese produced thermoses and can easily get through undetected and onto the market.

China, the world's factory, is still using the deadly mineral in products such as thermos flasks and sealing rings for the international market. And the estimated number of unreported uses is high because there are hardly any controls.

Here is an example of a German recall of a flask that was discovered to contain asbestos.

How prevalent is asbestos in Chinese manufactured goods (outside of China) and does the use of asbestos in products pose a serious health risk? Is it a non-issue and something that is being detected on the off-chance that it happens or is it a common material that is being included in toys and other products?

  • The question of whether asbestos is dangerous enough to justify the language on that united-docs could probably stand on its own. From reading that, you'd think it was dangerous to look at the stuff.
    – dtanders
    Oct 13 '11 at 13:49
  • Australia has forced recalls of around 24,000 Chinese manufactured cars due to asbestos components being used. They were again mainly asbestos gaskets and seals, as stated in the question.
    – John Lyon
    Sep 3 '12 at 0:56
  • "Does the use of asbestos in products pose a serious health risk?" -- I'd like to see a notable claim to the contrary. The dangers of asbestos are pretty clearly established, seeing how it has been banned and anybody still wanting to use it has to cut a lot of red tape in exception permits...
    – DevSolar
    Aug 31 '18 at 12:57
  • 1
    @DevSolar asbestos dust is clearly a major health hazard. But many products don't generate any dust if not severely abused. The major hazards are in production or when buildings containing asbestos roofs or pipes are demolished.
    – matt_black
    Sep 1 '18 at 13:46
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    @DevSolar Yes, but the ban might have been because there is no way to makeasbestos without hazards. I'm happy with the ban for that reason but the majority of hazards occur in manufacture not use.
    – matt_black
    Sep 1 '18 at 14:11

China still exports asbestos containing products.

For example asbestos sealing gaskets are sold.

As of 2016, there were still declared imports to the United States of asbestos containing products from China and other countries. See 2016 Minerals Yearbook: ASBESTOS


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