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Asbestos In Brakepads

Is Asbestos Still Used In Brake Pads

Asbestos is well known as a human carcinogen yet there are still materials containing asbestos in the USA and one of those products is often brake pads. read on to learn more.

Aftermarket Brakes

The majority of auto manufacturers haven’t installed asbestos-containing brake pads since the 1990’s due to health concerns for those that perform brake-related automotive repair or maintenance. And yet, asbestos-containing products are still used in the automotive aftermarket industry in the US, primarily due to high sales of low-cost, asbestos-containing brake parts from countries such as China and India.

Legal Proceedings

In 1989, the EPA proposed a ban on the manufacture, import, processing, and sale of asbestos-containing products to be phased out over seven years. But asbestos industry supporters challenged the ban. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the first stage of the EPA ban — prohibits new uses of asbestos, banned imported asbestos products, and ended the asbestos use in roofing and flooring felt, sheeting and tile, and clothing but id did not include several automotive parts in the ruling including brake pads.

Several initiatives have taken hold in some states such as California and Washington limiting the sale of brake pads containing asbestos. These initiatives have implications for the automotive brake parts aftermarket in North America, restraining future sales of low-cost imports from China and India, which are more likely to contain asbestos.  Replacement brake part sales in the US and Canada will see a shift in the product mix toward alternatives such as NAO brake pads and high-value, durable ceramic brake pads.


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The Asbestos Institute is not the official authority to determine OSHA training requirements, which are set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA regulations are always being revised, added, and/or deleted, so you must not rely on The Asbestos Institute as the official authority of OSHA asbestos training requirements. Visit the official OSHA Asbestos Training Requirements page here.

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