Many old irons are still in use in many homes around the world today. Those iron rests, along with other components, may contain asbestos; even ironing board covers themselves may be made of asbestos.
This iron rest has an almost-pure chrysotile-paper back surface, made to resist heat transfer to an ironing board. I am sure you have no idea that simply doing your weekly ironing could cause the cord to leak asbestos fiber bundles. If you are the person who does all the ironing in your household, you have been exposed repeatedly over many years.
Another concern is for people who buy antiques. Older appliances can still be purchased in working condition at Thrift stores in almost any city in the United States . Shoppers either aren’t aware of the asbestos threat, or they choose to ignore the condition of the asbestos cord. Because these irons are considered antiques, they are more valuable, and collectors scour stores looking for them—all the while unaware of the danger posed by these potentially asbestos-containing treasures.
Asbestos can cause a multitude of diseases in people, but there are two types of great concern: the first is cancer, or mesothelioma (a fibrous thickening that can occur either within the alveolar structure of the lung, or in its pleural lining), and the second is asbestosis. Asbestosis is often diagnosed separately from pneumoconiosis because even though asbestos is a dust, it is unique in that it is a form of fibrous dust. Asbestosis is a serious condition that is incurable and can cause death at a very young age.