Best Air Purifiers for Asbestos

Before we get into the best air purifiers for asbestos, we’ll start with a bit of an asbestos 101. 

How can you come in contact with it, how dangerous is it, and at what amounts should you be concerned?

No matter how bad it sounds, the good news is there are air purifiers that will help remove asbestos from your personal environment.

Asbestos – A Natural, Dangerous Mineral

Yes, asbestos is a natural mineral. If left in the ground and unbroken, it’s not a health hazard. 

Unfortunately, it has been mined and used for thousands of years. 

You may be exposed to it all the time depending on where you live.

As far back as 1870, it was used in industrial buildings.

Fast forward to the early 1940s, it was used extensively in home construction, initially in North America, then the UK. 

Note it was used in homes for decades before that, just not to the scale that ramped up in the 40s through to the 70s. 

Even though its dangers had already been known much earlier in the century.  

It wasn’t until the 80s and 90s that it was banned entirely in much of the world.

How to Detect Asbestos

According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finding in 2017, about 107,000 buildings, homes, and schools in the US contain asbestos. 

The UK reports 500,000 structures that still have it. So there’s a good chance several people will come across it in their lifetime. 

How to spot it? 

To be entirely conclusive, samples need to be tested by a lab. And don’t be fooled into thinking it was used in building materials. Asbestos was used in: 

  • Adhesives
  • Appliances
  • Automotive parts
  • Felt
  • Hairdryers
  • Makeup
  • Plastic
  • Potholders
  • Talcum powder
  • Textiles 

Unfortunately, asbestos is still used in manufacturing in some countries, like China. 

While most products are likely safe, some things still contain asbestos.

If you live in an older home, there’s a good chance paint, insulation, or even your vinyl floor tiles contain asbestos.

What Does Asbestos Look like

Asbestos can be blue, brown, or white, and each color represents a different type of asbestos.

  • Crocidolite = blue
  • Amosite = brown 
  • Chrysotile = white

Crocidolite asbestos is the most hazardous and is often used in spray-on coatings or in the insulation of pipes.

The most commonly used asbestos in the US is the amosite, which is brown. 

And while blue crocidolite asbestos is the most hazardous, this common brown asbestos poses the most significant risk for cancer. 

White asbestos, chrysotile, is the most commonly used. It was used for roofing, ceilings, walls, and floors in new builds and renovations. 

It’s also the type of asbestos used in car parts. 

If you think you have it in your home, it has layered, curly fibers.

Symptoms of Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a lung disease resulting from long-term inhalation of asbestos particles. 

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shoulder or chest pain
  • Swollen fingertips
  • Wheezing

If you’re exhibiting these symptoms and you think you have asbestos in your home, seek medical attention. 

What to Do If You Have Asbestos in Your Home

If you’ve discovered something in your home that you think maybe asbestos, don’t touch it. 

Disturbing it or causing it to crumble increases your danger. 

Typically, undisturbed asbestos that is still in good condition is not a serious health hazard. 

It doesn’t become dangerous until it becomes damaged or degrades over time. 

If and when that happens, it may release fibers into the air.

Check it regularly if you have discovered asbestos or think you may have it. 

Don’t touch it, do a visual assessment for signs of wear and tear or damage, even water damage. 

If you discover that it is damaged, then it must be removed by a professional.

So how can an air purifier help?

Best Air Purifier for Asbestos Fiber Removal

Out of all available air purifiers, the only type capable of removing asbestos is an air purifier with a HEPA filter.

HEPA, “High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting,” is a filter capable of trapping 99.97% of all particles 0.3-microns or larger. 

And since asbestos fibers range in size from 0.7-90 microns, this air purifier is guaranteed to remove asbestos particles from your home.

Of course, there are limitations. Your filter is only going to remove particles from the air. 

The source of the contamination, the asbestos itself, is still in your home. 

But if you’ve determined that the asbestos you found is in good condition, an air purifier is a good option. 

But again, the only way to entirely remove asbestos and asbestos contaminations from your home is by a trained professional.

Will Any HEPA Air Purifier Remove Asbestos

True HEPA vs. HEPA type. What’s the difference?

If you’re in the market for an air purifier, you’ll notice that some purifiers claim to have a HEPA filter.

When some have True HEPA filters, and others have HEPA-type filters. 

What are the differences, and which is the best option for asbestos removal?

The most significant difference between the two is how efficient they are. HEPA-type filters are 99% efficient at collecting particles as small as 2 microns. 

However, True HEPA filters have an efficiency rating of 99.97%, capable of capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns. 

Clearly, True HEPA filters are the better option.

Remember, asbestos particles range in size from 0.7-90 microns. 

So a HEPA-type filter cannot capture an asbestos particle measuring in the smallest size.

The conclusion? 

Look for an air purifier that has a True HEPA filter.

To help narrow your search, here are some of the best air purifiers for asbestos on the market today.

Best Overall Purifier For Asbestos: Levoit PlasmaPro 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier

  • Effective Range: 403 ft² / 37 m²
  • Dimensions: 10.8 x 10.8 x 20.5 in / 27.4 x 27.4 x 52 cm 
  • Noise Level: 24–52dB

This is a high-end air purifier without the extremely high-end price.

The PlasmaPro technology releases negative and positive ions into your environment. 

These bind with particles and contaminants in the air and break them down.

It’s easy to set up, has advanced functionality, and looks stylish. 

And the S in 400S stands for Smart, so it will connect with compatible devices such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

But what’s really important is its ability to purify indoor air with its True HEPA three-stage filter, paired with an activated carbon filter. 

Together they will capture the following:

  • Asbestos
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Some bacteria and viruses

If you’re looking for something cheaper that will still do the job, consider the following.

Best Large Room Air Purifier For Asbestos- Levoit Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier

Best Large Room Air Purifier For Asbestos: Levoit Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier

  • Effective Range: 403 ft² / 37 m²
  • Dimensions: 10.8 x 10.8 x 20.5 in / 27.4 x 27.4 x 52 cm 
  • Noise Level: 24–52dB

The Leviot Core 400S offers all of the same features as the PlasmaPro model above, except for PlasmaPro technology.

Still, more than you want to spend? 

Consider the following.

Best Bedroom Air Purifier For Asbestos: TOPPIN Comfy Air C2 True HEPA Filter

  • Effective Range: 15-20m² / 160-215 sq. ft
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 6.7 x 13.0in
  • Noise Level: 21-45dB

This air purifier has an easy-to-view LED indicator, a timer function, and customizable fan speeds.

Features include:

  • H 13 true HEPA filter
  • Change filter indicator
  • Screen off mode
  • Three fan levels
  • 2/4/8 hour timer

Best Air Purifiers For Asbestos: Conclusion

If you’ve discovered asbestos in your home, your first step is determining the danger level. 

Leaving it alone and getting an air purifier may be the answer if it appears in good condition. 

However, call a professional if you are nervous about its existence or damage.