Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Technical Stuff


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 22nd March 2016, 23:37   #1
BHPian
 
RocketRaccoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Gurgaon, HR
Posts: 107
Thanked: 138 Times
Unhappy Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

I recently saw a revealing documentary about the health effects of coming into contact with Asbestos. Before watching this VICE story I had known that Asbestos is carcinogenic but I did not know the severity of it's cancer inducing nature. I need to find out if brake pads are still made from Asbestos for Indian cars. This is because India is apparently one of the largest importers of Asbestos in the world.
Now, I am due for getting my car's front and rear brake pads replaced at an FNG and I usually watch over while the chap tinkers with the car. Would it be safe for me to be near the car while they perform the task of brake pad replacement ? [I have asthma and take seroflo inhaler]. Is the brake dust deposit on alloy wheels safe to clean ?
RocketRaccoon is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd March 2016, 23:57   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
IshaanIan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Hyd/B'lore
Posts: 2,438
Thanked: 3,135 Times
Default re: Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

I have asthma too but never faced any issues getting rid of brake dust from my car. Diesel cars emit exhaust gases that are highly carcinogenic, so if you've done fine in traffic, you should be okay
IshaanIan is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 00:34   #3
BHPian
 
RocketRaccoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Gurgaon, HR
Posts: 107
Thanked: 138 Times
Default re: Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

Asbestos fibers, once lodged into lungs never make it's way to the mucus (due to it's waterproof nature) and hence are never thrown out of the lungs. These fibers irritate the walls of the lungs and are ultimately more dangerous compared to dust or any other cancer triggers such as dust because other irritants and particulates are expelled by the body more or less. It's has the same level of toxicity like lead or mercury cause these heavy metals never leave the body. This is why I want to desperately find out if brake pads are made from asbestos. If they are then even inhaling the brake dust would be harmful.

Last edited by RocketRaccoon : 23rd March 2016 at 00:36.
RocketRaccoon is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 06:21   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delhi
Posts: 3,067
Thanked: 6,230 Times
Default re: Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketRaccoon View Post
Asbestos fibers, once lodged into lungs never make it's way to the mucus (due to it's waterproof nature) and hence are never thrown out of the lungs. These fibers irritate the walls of the lungs and are ultimately more dangerous compared to dust or any other cancer triggers such as dust because other irritants and particulates are expelled by the body more or less. It's has the same level of toxicity like lead or mercury cause these heavy metals never leave the body. This is why I want to desperately find out if brake pads are made from asbestos. If they are then even inhaling the brake dust would be harmful.
Asbestos has and are still being used in brake pads, clutch and all sorts of gaskets as well. Many countries have banned the use of Asbestos in all products. I do not know if such a legal requirement exists in India. If it doesn't there are likely to be brake pads on the market containing asbestos.

Having legislation in place doesn't help necessarily either. See this recent Australian article:

http://www.news.com.au/finance/busin...4a02967b49fd3e

Here some more info, none of it very uplifting I'm afraid:

http://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos...ts/brake-pads/

Jeroen
Jeroen is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 08:43   #5
BHPian
 
EPMV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 66
Thanked: 273 Times
Default re: Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

I have no idea about the brake pad manufacturing process till coming through your thread. After some googling analysis here is the information i gathered.

Seems like the health hazard is already identified and OEM manufacturing process made aware of this hazard it seems. For example Toyota confirms that all of the OEM car brake pads doesn't contain asbestos but some after market spares may have.

Source: http://parts.olathetoyota.com/what-a...e-pads-made-of
Quote:
After-Market Brake Pads May Contain Asbestos!

While it's rumored that one European auto manufacturer may still use asbestos in their brake pads, it's a safe bet that any OEM brake pads you buy (including genuine Toyota brake pads) do not contain asbestos. However, some after-market brake pad manufacturers still use asbestos as a brake pad filler material because:
  • Asbestos is a pretty decent pad material, at least if you ignore the glaring health risks
  • Asbestos is really inexpensive
Another detailed info on this topic

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_pad
Quote:
The five most important characteristics that are considered when selecting a brake pad material are as follows:
  • The material's ability to resist brake fade at increased temperatures
  • The effects of water on brake fade (all brakes are designed to withstand at least temporary exposure to water)
  • The ability to recover quickly from either increased temperature or moisture
  • Service life as traded off vs. wear to the rotor
  • The ability of the material to provide smooth, even contact with the rotor or drum (rather than a material that breaks off in chunks or causes pits or dents).
For many years straightforward asbestos was viewed as having an optimal performance in all five categories. However, as the serious health-related hazards of asbestos became apparent, other materials had to be found. Today, brake pad materials are classified as belonging to one of four principal categories, as follows:
  • Non-metallic materials - these are made from a combination of various synthetic substances bonded into a composite, principally in the form of cellulose, aramid, PAN, and sintered glass. They are gentle on rotors, but produce a fair amount of dust and have a short service life.
  • Semi-metallic materials - synthetics mixed with some proportion of flaked metals. These are harder than non-metallic pads, and are more fade-resistant and longer lasting, but at the cost of increased wear to the rotor/ drum which then must be replaced sooner. They also require more force than non-metallic pads in order to generate braking torque.
  • Fully metallic materials - these pads are used only in racing vehicles, and are composed of sintered steel without any synthetic additives. They are very long-lasting, but require even more force to slow a vehicle and are extremely wearing on rotors. They also tend to be very loud.
  • Ceramic materials - Composed of clay and porcelain bonded to copper flakes and filaments, these are a good compromise between the durability of the metal pads and the grip and fade resistance of the synthetic variety. Their principal drawback, however, is that unlike the previous three types and despite the presence of the copper (which has a high thermal conductivity), ceramic pads generally do not dissipate heat well, which can eventually cause the pads or other components of the braking system to warp.[2] However, because the ceramic materials causes the braking sound to be elevated beyond that of human hearing, they are exceptionally quiet.
EPMV is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 10:22   #6
BHPian
 
RocketRaccoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Gurgaon, HR
Posts: 107
Thanked: 138 Times
Default

In many parts of the world, Asbestos is banned for use as insulation in homes but still allowed for certain industries. If this is the case for countries which have 'semi-bans', I believe I would be correct in speculating that asbestos is thriving in india and on Indian cars [costs] I believe there are powerful Russian and Indian lobbies at work which have thwarted repeated attempts to ban Asbestos in India. With all due respect to the judiciary, the Honourable Supreme Court of India refused to ban the mineral in 2011 after an NGO's complaint though mining of asbestos and waste handling are banned in India. I was planning to watch over while my mechanic does the work on my car but I am least inclined to do so now. In fact, he would receive a lecture on use of hazardous materials and it's waste disposal.
RocketRaccoon is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 11:27   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
smartcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,974
Thanked: 11,922 Times
Default Re: Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

India is the largest importer of asbestos because it is used by India's poor for roofing.

They are called "asbestos sheets" and looks like this -

Name:  services_roofing1.jpg
Views: 722
Size:  12.8 KB
smartcat is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 15:16   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
thoma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kerala
Posts: 1,750
Thanked: 1,073 Times
Default Re: Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

Asbestos is heavily smelled while travelling non-a/c class by Indian Railways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
India is the largest importer of asbestos because it is used by India's poor for roofing.


Even the govt. in Kerala do not recommend asbestos sheeting, being carcinogenic, and they give away (maybe limited) free tin sheets to change any existing asbestos for the poor. But since the tin ones tend to fly away in heavy wind conditions, many guys revert to asbestos.
thoma is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 16:03   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
clevermax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tvm/Amsterdam
Posts: 1,601
Thanked: 403 Times
Default Re: Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
Asbestos is heavily smelled while travelling non-a/c class by Indian Railways.
That burning smell is very much evident while sitting in a non-ac coach in a train. But how do we know whether it is Asbestos smell or not?

Last edited by GTO : 24th March 2016 at 10:19. Reason: Typo
clevermax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 16:13   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
thoma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kerala
Posts: 1,750
Thanked: 1,073 Times
Default Re: Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
That burning smell is very much evident while sitting in a non-ac coach in a train. But how do we know whether it is Asbestos smell or not?
Oh you mean to say it could be some other component/additive that is smelling and not exactly asbestos? What else could it be? This has been the case from the time I had memories and it's the same we get while the KeSRTC buses brake hard.

I have been hearing all the time that brake pads do have asbestos. But true, can't 100% confirm if it exactly is the asbestos that is smelling. Passing on to experts.

P.S: Maybe I should get hold on to an asbestos sheet and rub vigorously against a rough surface; no, not joking.

Last edited by GTO : 24th March 2016 at 10:19. Reason: Typo
thoma is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 17:14   #11
BHPian
 
RocketRaccoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Gurgaon, HR
Posts: 107
Thanked: 138 Times
Default

The more I read about this mineral, the more revelations I get about its ubiquitous presence. Even sealants like window putty and epoxy sealants contain Asbestos. Vinyl tiles also have the mineral in question. Workers who handle asbestos in developed countries need to wear full body hazmat suits for removal from existing structures.
RocketRaccoon is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2016, 23:51   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
dark.knight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: India
Posts: 1,115
Thanked: 2,963 Times
Default Re: Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketRaccoon View Post
I recently saw a revealing documentary about the health effects of coming into contact with Asbestos. Before watching this VICE story I had known that Asbestos is carcinogenic but I did not know the severity of it's cancer inducing nature.
VICE is the best news source, period.. Bill Maher is a great man. Coming to the topic yes, asbestos is absolutely lethal, the biggest example as you might already know are the several fire-fighters who rushed to the scene on 9/11 only to suffer painful lung infections, cancer and slow but certain deterioration of health. The WTC had been built using asbestos extensively as false-ceilings, air-conditioner ducts, partitions etc. Nowadays fibreglass is used instead even though it too, shares the spreading tendency of fine, non-biodegradable and lethal micro-particles of glass fibre once the boards are torn apart or damaged, thus both materials lead to mesothelioma, asbestos of course to a larger degree.

The thing is you're not just unsafe around asbestos, it can be anything that isn't bio-degradable and particulate level.. for example sawdust can cause nasopharyngeal carcinoma and likewise sand, coal emissions, NOx emissions, dust emissions etc which are present just about anywhere today and specially in big cities. Demolition of buildings, painting of buildings or cars, scrapping of cars etc will bring in more than their fair share of harmful emissions i.e VOC (volatile organic compounds). Yes, you will be surprised to know that merely eliminating painting from the car manufacturing process brings down VOC emissions by 40% since the primer and paint are delivered by spray.

Holistically speaking, it is imperative today more than ever for each person to do their part for the ecosystem and for themselves. Using renewable materials, refusing to use fibre-based synthetic polymers unless highly necessary and of course the good old reduce, reuse & recycle methods need to be implemented at every level possible. Asbestos must be completely banned from India (if plastic bags are considered hazardous then asbestos is sheer poison), but that would be only the first step in a long way to go for helping our world to breathe normally.

Source : Personal experience of studying polymers including fibreglass & resins in a 3 month project in an injection-mould manufacturing firm (though I was at the business end of it and not really the scientific part), also another 1-year project made me research heavily on LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certifications - LEED Certifications can bring in tax relief for offices based on their ranking of Platinum, Gold or Silver thus even the smallest of small components count when it comes to Platinum level (using maximum natural ways to receive light & ventilation, using zero-VOC paints & materials, zero chorofluorocarbon emissions etc). Every bit counts in reducing temperature fluctuations & harmful particles which have affected all including myself.
dark.knight is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2016, 01:30   #13
BHPian
 
RocketRaccoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Gurgaon, HR
Posts: 107
Thanked: 138 Times
Default

Wow that's some education I just received. Thanks Dark Knight. Your points are logical and explained well and you seem very knowledgeable on this topic given your experience. I also agree with your point on vice and Bill Maher. I never miss watching 'New Rules' on YouTube. He slices through both the Republicans and Democrats with style. Always a pleasure to watch Real Time. Once again, your post has proved to me that Team BHP is not just a community of car enthusiasts but also a place where one can learn all sorts of new things.
RocketRaccoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2016, 07:51   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delhi
Posts: 3,067
Thanked: 6,230 Times
Default

In Europe the use of asbestos in any material has been forbidden for many decades. But it is still around in items such as roof tiles, insulation on old houses etc. Actually on such applications it isn't a problem as such as long as you don't touch it. But removing it is a problem as under such conditions small asbestos particles will dislodge themselves with all the associated health risks. So those sort of jobs need to carried out by specialised teams, with special equipment and protection. Special suits with breathing apparatus etc. Very expensive but there are still various subsidies from the government around to help out.

When I started my career in the merchant navy just about all the insulation on the pipes and engines, heaters and such was asbestos based. Again, not a health hazard as such until you need to remove it to do some maintenance.

When left to its own/static no problem, but when moved or on brakes where particles come off is where you need to worry.

Compared to other materials with the same properties it is cheap for its intended use. That's why it's still, often illegally, around.
Jeroen
Jeroen is online now   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2016, 17:17   #15
BHPian
 
RocketRaccoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Gurgaon, HR
Posts: 107
Thanked: 138 Times
Default Re: Are brake pads on Indian cars asbestos-free?

Quote:
A number of scientific studies published from 2002-2004 concluded that brake dust was not a cause of mesothelioma. Researcher Murray Finkelstein noticed some characteristics of asbestos fiber analysis used in these studies that led to this conclusion could be interpreted in a different way. He re-analyzed the data published in these studies on the lung content of chrysotile and tremolite asbestos among brake mechanics and control subjects that participated in each of these trials.

He discovered:

Average fiber concentrations were higher among the brake workers than the controls.
The concentration of tremolite fibers was higher than the concentration of chrysotile in the lung tissue samples that were examined.
He concluded that brake mechanics have a significant amount of asbestos fibers in their lung tissue, which was caused by occupational exposure to dust from friction products manufactured from Canadian chrysotile asbestos. This put mechanics at increased risk of asbestos-associated cancers.
It would be safe to assume that DIYers who intend to clean alloy wheels and remove brake dust take should appropriate steps against asbestos ingestion by wearing rubber work gloves safety eye wear and masks as a bare minimum. Make sure wheels are cool before removing brake dust and use the wet wipe method [water with a detergent used in low pressure spray bottle wiped with cloth] so as to prevent asbestos dust to diffuse into the air. Ironically avoid hoses as the high water pressure on dry wheels would diffuse asbestos during the initial spray of water which would defeat the purpose of not disturbing the settled asbestos dust.

Copyright respective owners. Source: http://www.asbestos.com/occupations/auto-mechanics.php
RocketRaccoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brake Pads.. karthik247 Technical Stuff 44 3rd June 2017 23:11
Price of New Brake Pads for OHC 1.5? buzzin_hornets Technical Stuff 26 22nd March 2015 11:50
Paint for disc brake pads & rear brake drums VC12 Modifications & Accessories 8 25th October 2011 17:18
Rear Pads Worn Out Faster Than Front Pads! How is this possible? Tripod Technical Stuff 13 29th April 2009 22:16
STOP PRESS - Ferrari Enzo brake pads on a Jeep!!! GTO Modifications & Accessories 7 23rd February 2006 11:22


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 22:02.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks