Asbestos in Cars

United States Environmental

Protection Agency

March 2007

Current Best Practices  

Work Practice Don’ts for Home Mechanics:  
  • Do not use compressed air for cleaning.  
  • Do not clean brakes or clutches with a dry rag, brush (wet or dry), or garden hose.
  • Do not use an ordinary wet/dry vac without a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to vacuum dust. Invisible particles of brake or clutch dust can stay in the air and on your clothes long after a job is complete.
  • Avoid taking work clothing inside the home or tracking dust through the house after performing brake and clutch work to prevent exposing your family to dust particles that may contain asbestos.  

Work Practice Do’s for Home Mechanics:

  • Use pre-ground, ready-to-install parts. If a brake or clutch lining must be drilled, grooved, cut, beveled, or lathe-turned, use low speeds to keep down the amount of dust created.
  • Use machinery with a local exhaust dust collection system equipped with HEPA filtration to prevent dust exposures and work area contamination.
  • Change into clean clothes before going inside the home and wash soiled clothes separately.
  • Minimize exposure to others by keeping bystanders, as well as food and drinks, away from the work area.
  • Put on an N-95 respirator they are cheap and easy to use.     

As a best practice, OSHA states that mechanics should assume that all brakes have asbestos-type shoes. Worn non-asbestos-type brake shoes cannot be readily distinguished from asbestos-type shoes. If a mechanic assumes incorrectly that a shoe is a non-asbestos type and fails to utilize brake dust control procedures, increased asbestos exposure may result.

For more information on asbestos in other consumer products, call the CPSC Hotline or write to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207. The CPSC Hotline has information on certain appliances and products, such as the brands and models of hair dryers that contain asbestos. Call CPSC at 1-800-638-CPSC. A teletypewriter (TTY) for the hearing impaired is available at 1-800-638-8270. The Maryland TTY number is 1-800-492-8104. The Johnny O. Perea Foundation at 1-505-331-8984 Talk to Charles one on one...  EPA Link 

By providing information, this foundation intends to deal with Asbestos one project at a time until we no longer have to fear this known hazard. Future generations should not have to suffer the way my father did. Asbestos is out there and we cannot continue believing or thinking that it is not. At some point, it will get damaged or it will be disturbed. Nothing lasts forever. Asbestos is a simple reality that must be dealt with safely or it will continue to kill the ones we love. 

 Please consider a charitable contribution to help fund this effort.Thanks for your support!
Charles R. Perea