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Asbestos anxiety

Farah 1990
Community Member

Hi everyone,

I have recently been aware of asbestos and its danger.

I bought an old house built in the 70s and ripped off the vinyl sheet that was on top of the tile vinyl in the kitchen area with no mask or protection as I had absolutely no idea that this could be dangerous.

Since I started knowing about asbestos, my anxiety is hitting the roof, I keep thinking that i have inhaled the fibres and I am going to die i wake up anxious I sleep anxious, I can't enjoy or do anything in my life without asbestos being the center of my focus.

There is no way to test the sheets as I threw them long time ago. I am just sitting there worrying that I have put my health and my kids health in danger.

Anyone with similar stories or with positive vibes, I do need them 😭😭

9 Replies 9

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Farah,

Welcome to the forums.

The fears & thoughts you are experiencing sound distressing & disruptive in your life.

I wonder, have you thought to talk to anyone about these fears & feelings? If not, a first step is to talk to your GP, who can advise yu about what options for counselling or therapy, which might best help you.

I'm glad you have found your way her, to this friendly & safe place where you can talk about your concerns & ask questions, too.😺



Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Farah1990,

Wellcome to our forums.

I'm sorry you are currently feeling this way I understand its hard.

Intrusive thoughts can be very distressing to have they can cause us to obsess over things and we can get stuck in a vicious thinking spiral.

I have a lived experience of severe anxiety OCD, I had horrible intrusive thoughts that would cause me alot of distress.

I seeked professional help and I've now recovered, its a journey.

I understand our journey may be different but have you thought about talking to your gp about your anxiety and how it's effecting your life?

Your gp could refer you to a psychologist who can give you many strategies for dealing with anxiety, you can learn to manage it.

Hang in there

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Farah,

A very warm and caring welcome to our forums..

I am so sorry that your feeling the way you are..

I live in a home built in the early 60s and it’s mostly asbestos...I live in a small rural town and the 100 plus houses are mainly asbestos...

The thing with asbestos is that I’ve been told that it’s safe if it’s painted, wallpapered, tiled etc...And to not drill into it or saw/cut it without a mask...or wetting it down...because without doing so it releases the fibres.....I have screwed a few screws in to hang a few pictures on the wall...

Anxiety can spring up over anything in life and I’m sorry that your home is the cause...as mmMeKitty and Petal has suggested...I would also like to gently suggest that a Drs appointment to talk over your anxiety which is impacting on your daily life and sleep could be very beneficial for you...

Please talk here anytime you feel up to it...We are all here to help support you through this horrible anxiety your struggling with...

My kindest thoughts with my care dear Farah..


Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Farah,

I too have recently moved into my new home built in the 1970s and have also discovered an abundance of asbestos. I’d been advised the roof is asbestos, but soon realised it’s also in the shed and garage rooves which I hadn’t previously noticed, the gutters, side panelling inside the house, and almost certainly behind the original kitchen and bathroom tiles. A tiler told me they used to mix up the glue with asbestos. I was worried too at first, but I read up on it and it is generally safe as Grandy mentions above if it’s painted, not damaged/broken etc. The asbestos in the garage and shed rooves here is not painted but appears stable and undamaged.

As kids we played on an asbestos fence all the time and with pieces of broken asbestos at the side of the house. I sometimes previously worried about that but realised I can’t do anything to change what I did then, so I was able to let it go. So I think the best thing, if you can, is try not to worry about the vinyl sheeting you removed as you can’t change that now and just go forward knowing that as long as you are not cutting into asbestos, that any asbestos in your house is stable and not broken, then everything should be ok.

But if the anxiety keeps affecting you, preventing you from sleeping, then as others have mentioned it might be a good idea just to get some advice on strategies for handling it. It will be great if you can enjoy your new home without the worry.

I wonder too if there’s someone you could get an unbiased professional opinion from with regard to asbestos in the home, in case that helps to put your mind at ease. Sometimes just having clear knowledge can help.

Take care and all the best.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Farah, part of an old section where I live is an abudance of old homes which contain asbestos sheeting, rooves and panels and as mentioned it won't cause any harm unless it's drilled, broken up, sanded or disturbed and not everybody is affected by asbestos, similar to people who smoke, not all of these people suffer from emphysema, there are many who smoke their whole life and don't get this.

The same applies with asbestos, I have friends who used to roll it up and throw it at each other and none of them have asbestosis, just like myself where I've worked with it, around it and don't have this disease.

You can get people who deal with this product to come to your house and advice you, although they will probably say that it needs to be removed and they can do this for you.


Hi Mm mekitty

Thank you so much for your nice reply.

I have spoken with my GP who prescribed some antidepressants and anxiety pills during the day.

They worked really well the first 2 weeks but now I see myself declining again

I have booked another appointment with my GP on Wednesday hoping she can help me. I am also talking to a psychologist who is giving me strategies to deal with my anxiety.

My thoughts are controlling my life 😞

Thank you for reaching out

Hi Farah,

It's good to see you are getting some support & learning some things to help you manage your feelings & thoughts.

I think, also, getting some information about asbestos & what the risks are with respect to your own home. I'm reminded about some things I'd heard years ago, by Grandy, Eagle Ray, & Geoff about it being safer when intact, to not go breaking it up & such.

I would expect your local council would be a good place to start, for finding information, & maybe they could help you find someone who could assess the risks around your home & advise about it. Of-course, I would imagine getting it professionally removed & replacing with something else, would eliminate the problem permanently.

Oh, yes, I remember now, it was the 'blue asbestos' in particular, which was the problem. My memory is so bad... it was 1970s or 1980s when there was a lot of attention given to the problem, with encouragement to people with exposed asbestos to have it assessed &/or removed. I was still young, so I'ml leaning towards 1970s.



Hi Farah 1990,

I just wanted to say I’m sorry that your thoughts are controlling your life mine use to do this to me too.

Now I’m in control and not my anxiety.

Can I ask if you are only having these intrusive thoughts that are controlling your life just around asbestos ?

Hang in there things will get better.

Community Member

Hello Farah,

I have been through similar distressing thoughts about asbestos and I recall also seeing a number of posts on these forums about asbestos concerns. You're not alone with this worry.

I think the media have done us a bit of a dis-service - while it is useful know and understand the risks and know what situations to now avoid, I think they tend to take the fear campaigns to an extreme.

The thing is, so many of us have been exposed to asbestos through our lives, no doubt - some more than others - and as far as I've read, we mostly are okay. We are exposed to so many things during our lifetimes. But we simply don't have the time to worry about every chemical or fibre that enters or may enter our system. Life wouldn't be fulfiling if we did that. 
My brother and I once tore an old shed to pieces and played with what I now know was asbestos. I used to worry constantly that I was doomed in 20-30 years' time - and media articles about asbestos triggered me especially. But then I realised that it was a one-off exposure (unlike those poor employees who were exposed daily in their jobs back in the day) so the chances of getting sick are very small and, even if I do fall sick some day, do I really want to spend the next 10 years worrying when I can't do anything to change it? If so, should I worry then that I've had a bad diet and may therefore suffer from a cancer or heart condition down the track? Where does that thought process end...

There are so many houses with asbestos still in them. If it bothers you, you can get a quote for removal.

I'd suggest you avoid at all costs Googling asbestos and related content. If you are concerned and need peace of mind, you can always tell your GP about it and they will know the risk factors. Any bets they will say you'll be fine 🙂 Please, be reassured by that and take that as the final word.

I've avoided getting into the mental health treatment side of things in this post, as there are other really useful replies to your query about that. I just wanted to give you some practical reassurance, as I know that when anxiety is at its worst you sometimes benefit from that reassurance. Hope it gives you some peace.

Best wishes - and sleep well!