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Tim JA
Tim JA, Construction Worker
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2628
Experience:  Owner at Self-employed
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You know the paste stuff around light switches to secure

Customer Question

Hello you know the paste stuff around light switches to secure them into the wall ? Was asbestos used in the making of this ?
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hello?
Expert:  Tim JA replied 12 days ago.

Good morning, and welcome to the Technical section in JustAnswer, an independent paid question and answer platform that matches customers' questions to experts in various skills. My name is ***** ***** I'll be happy to help you today.

I'm not familiar with the paste that you've mentioned. Could you explain more about it, and/or attach a photo of it? And when do you think the paste was applied?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
It’s like the solvent that surrounds
The light switch x
Expert:  Tim JA replied 12 days ago.

I've never used any such thing around a light switch.

A photo would help, but are you referring to the plastic (or metal) plate that you see, or the backbox into which the switch is installed?

Just in case you're thinking of decorators' caulk, which is sometimes used to fill a narrow gap before painting, then that does not contain asbestos. By law, any construction material used since 1999 cannot contain asbestos.

If I've guessed wrongly, please attach a photo so that I can see what're you're referring to.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
The house was built WAYYY before 1999 though more like 1960
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I have no photo right now I’m not there x
Expert:  Tim JA replied 12 days ago.

You seem to have read only a tiny part of my post, and not addressed the questions that you could answer without a photo.

1. Are you referring to the plastic (or metal) plate that you see, or the backbox into which the switch is installed?

2. Are you thinking of decorators' caulk?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
It looks like caulk
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
anyway that’s come away from the wall and itself and my coat has been Hung there and has been scraping past it as the door is opened ! Will this be releasing asbestos into the room ?
Expert:  Tim JA replied 12 days ago.

OK.  So whilst modern caulk is acrylic-based, it's possible that you have old caulk, and some of that did contain asbestos, so you're right to be cautious. However, the type of caulk that used to contain asbestos was generally used in plumbing and heating installations, not in decorating.
To be certain you would need to commission the analysis of a sample.  There are many companies licensed to offer this service; one example is below:
https://www.djsurveying.co.uk/asbestos_caulking.htm

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
But it’s not my house that’s all so I can’t just go getting someone else’s house tested ! I just stayed there and do quite freequently now i am weary to stay there as I feel I’m being exposed to asbestos ? Am I in danger or is the person who’s house / room it is in danger too? X
Expert:  Tim JA replied 12 days ago.

Our posts crossed, sorry.
I'm just typing the answer to your latest question(s)...

Expert:  Tim JA replied 12 days ago.

To answer your question about releasing asbestos fibres,  It's a low probability,
If scrapings have come away from the wall, then generally those will fall to the floor and not be airborne.  I recommend the following:
1. Do not vacuum or sweep up the fragments.
2. Take a wet paper towel and mop up the fragments and or dust from the floor.  Fold the paper towel around the bits and put it in ziplock bag.
3. Contact your local recycling centre, or council, and ask how to get the fragments tested for asbestos..  The asbestos contractor will take the sample, test it, safely dispose of it, and tell you the result of the test.