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Did they make plant containers out of asbestos?

B3B3 Posts: 21,532
We moved here over twenty years ago. The previous owners left behind a long trough. It's grey, very lightweight and has a slightly fibrous feel to it.
I've always been loath to plant anything edible in it but it would be ideal for a couple of tomato plants.  What do you think?
In London. Keen but lazy.

Posts

  • TenNTenN Posts: 121
    Did it look old when you moved in? Pre 1990s I'd say it's asbestos so probably best to avoid edibles. 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    edited March 2020
    That sounds like asbestos cement board.  The only real danger from that is the dust, so as long as you don't break, drill or saw it, the asbestos fibres are safely locked away inside.  I would be tempted to paint it with a fence paint etc. which will stop any deterioration of the surface from releasing fibres.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,532
    Thank you both. I think I'll continue to use it for non-edibles. It's sound and covered in moss, so no dust.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,469
    Asbestos cement seems to deteriorate when constantly wet so why they would use it as a planter I don't know hardly likely to burst into flames.
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,532
    Dunno. It appears to be moulded, no joints but with sharp edges on the outside. Maybe it was the weight aspect before plastics became commonplace.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,469
    Yes I've just had a quick google and saw examples of an asbestos water tank, another wonder material goes wrong. While on holiday in Spain I believe it was we were shown a huge quarry where the Romans used to mine asbestos, apparently they loved the stuff and even included it in some medicines.
  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087
    edited March 2020
    In my past life as a building surveyor I was trained  to be aware of all asbestos types that could be within a building structure. In all my time I have never seen asbestos material used to build a trough for plants. Obviously, it could be, but I could give you a complete list of where asbestos would be possibly used but a garden trough wouldn’t be on that list 
    As Barry Island has stated it could be a cold water tank which is normally contains white asbestos called Crysotile to the internal sides. It’s is a cement based compound that would resist all temperature changes within a building structure, but being outside in all weather could change its composition to a more fragile structure 
    Personally, I would not use it and get it removed safely by an Asbestos contractor 

     
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