Story: Building materials

Making asbestos fibrolite

Making asbestos fibrolite

A worker handles a material known as fibrolite – a mixture of cement and asbestos. Fibrolite was made into roofing, wall boards and decking boards. When it is cut, the dust releases dangerous fibres that cause asbestosis, a lung disease that can kill people decades after exposure. This product is no longer manufactured in New Zealand, but the term fibrolite is still used for modern cement sheets, which contain no asbestos.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/4-000378-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jeremy Salmond, 'Building materials - Cement and concrete', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 July 2022)

Story by Jeremy Salmond, published 11 Mar 2010