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Asbestos in Clothes Dryers

Charles Pearson

Asbestos is a toxic dust found in building materials and appliances such as clothes dryers. Those exposed to a lot of asbestos dust can develop health problems when they inhale the asbestos into their lungs or when they eat food that has asbestos powder on it. In some cases, asbestos does not cause any trouble except during demolition when the asbestos material breaks apart and enters the air as dust.

Past Asbestos Usage

Asbestos can cause serious health problems in large doses.

In the past, engineers used asbestos in products that use a lot of heat since asbestos had an insulating quality. However, given the health risks that asbestos poses, hot appliances such as dryers now use different asbestos materials.


Fiberglass oftentimes contains asbestos. Older clothes dryers used fiberglass as insulation, so asbestos might come out of those dryers and contaminate the clothes and anything else nearby the dryer. The clothes dryer belt serves as one of the greatest sources of asbestos, even more so than among building materials. Dryer belts made in the USA probably do not contain asbestos. If the dryer belt is not made in the USA, the owner should replace the dryer belt with one made in the USA. If someone gets sick from asbestos poisoning, someone should dispose of the asbestos clothes dryer. Asbestos dryers can get asbestos on clothes and those using the dryers can breathe in the asbestos. Asbestos can especially pose a health risk when disposing of the dryer, since the process of disposing of the dryer can cause the asbestos materials to further break apart.

Health Problems

Those who breath in asbestos have a significantly increased chance of developing lung cancer, lung disorders and mesothelioma. Those exposed to the asbestos do not always realize that they were exposed because the health effects of asbestos take awhile to manifest. The majority of asbestos fibers leave the lungs when the individual exhales. The only time that the asbestos causes a problem is when asbestos particles become lodged in the lungs, where they can remain for a long time. When a large amount of asbestos collects in the lungs, this asbestos can cause inflammation that can lead to other health problems. Those exposed to a smaller amount of asbestos under a shorter period of time will not necessarily develop lung problems. But homeowners with dryers that contain asbestos will be exposed to the asbestos over a long period if they keep the dryer.

Dryer Specifications

Electric dryers remove moisture from clothes after they are washed in a washing machine. The dryer spins the clothes in a tumbler while subjecting the clothes to heat. An exhaust releases excess heat.