Vintage Asbestos Adverts


Vintage asbestos advert

Vintage asbestos ads giving terrible advice

Vintage advertisements have always been a fascinating reflection of the times they were created in. From fashion to home improvement, these advertisements offer a glimpse into the past. However, not all historical advertising campaigns age well. In this blog post, we’ll explore the unsettling world of vintage asbestos advertisements, which once promoted a material now known to be highly hazardous to health.

These advertisements not only endorsed asbestos but also gave terrible advice that endangered the lives of many.

The Asbestos Boom

During the 20th century, asbestos was heralded as a miracle material due to its fire-resistant, insulating, and cost-effective properties. It was used in countless applications, from home construction to automotive manufacturing. This popularity led to a proliferation of advertisements that touted asbestos as a modern solution for various everyday needs.

The asbestos pad, advertising a pad to lie on top of your dining table to protect it from scratches. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to be eating off a piece of asbestos.

Advertising suits made for fire men of the royal air force. So in potentially saving lives of people in fires they would actually be killing theirselves without knowing.

This advert by the famous asbestos producing company James Hardie in Australia, advertising  ‘’cool, clean, water’’ even though the water is coming through asbestos pipes.

World trade centre asbestos advert

The above ad from 1981 was around the time the asbestos manufactures were starting to take strain from employees and governments over the dangers. This is donned as one of the most horrible advert ever in the USA, even more so as knowing what happened to the building.

Kent asbestos cigarette filters

Kent cigarette advert from 1954, the micronite filter in each cigarette shockingly contained 20% Crocidolite asbestos to stop them burning so quick.

Asbestos baby suit vintage advert

For me this is the most disturbing image out of them all, using asbestos as a baby suit. I’m even sure at the time some people would be outraged at this. Surely it cannot be real!

The Grim Reality

There are many more examples of these ads and although they may seem quite amusing today they are quite disturbing as these companies were advertising these asbestos products and the consumers having no idea how dangerous they were at the time.

It is sobering to look back on these vintage advertisements with the knowledge of the health risks associated with asbestos exposure. In reality, countless lives were adversely affected due to the promotion of asbestos as a safe, modern solution in a bygone era.

Thankfully, as our understanding of asbestos and its health risks grew, the use of asbestos has been significantly reduced, and in many places, banned entirely. However, the consequences of past decisions still haunt us today, as many individuals continue to suffer from asbestos-related diseases.


Q: Were people aware of the dangers of asbestos at the time these advertisements were published?

A: No, the general public was not aware of the health risks associated with asbestos exposure during the time these advertisements were prevalent. Asbestos was widely regarded as a miracle material due to its fire-resistant and insulating properties.

Q: What were some common products advertised with asbestos, and why were they dangerous?

A: Asbestos was used in various products such as insulation, fireproof suits, cigarette filters, and even baby suits. These products were dangerous because asbestos fibres, when inhaled, can cause serious health issues including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

Q: What has been done to address the consequences of asbestos exposure?

A: Over time, awareness of the dangers of asbestos has increased, leading to regulations and bans on its use in many countries. Additionally, efforts have been made to educate the public about the risks associated with asbestos exposure and to provide support for those affected by asbestos-related diseases.

Further Reading

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