You are a smart buyer to be aware of this potentially hazardous building material. Asbestos (at the time it was introduced) in the 1930's was considered a miracle material. They made everything out of this substance form fiberboard to clothing. It was only many years later when they discovered how bad it was that people got concerned. My own grandfather used it when he worked on the railroad. They would scoop it out of buckets with their bare hands and use it to lubricate the rails.
Now we have more knowledge about this substance and it has not been used since 1950. Owens Corning was the primary manuufacturer of this product and they lost a 19 year long legal battle about Asbestos in 1998. This loss costed Owens Corning over $17 Billion dollars.
The point is you should not see Asbestos in new construction. Also it is not really a problem unless you disturb it. If you have the old asbestos siding tiles on your home, don't disturb them and you are ok. Please note in the lates 60's and 70's a ceiling texture called popcorn or cottage cheese became wildly popular. Often one of its primary ingrediants was, you guessed it asbestos. Again as long as you don't disturb it, it is not a problem. If you want this removed, you should hire a contractor that does Asbestos Remediation. Their workers will wear suits and respirators to prevent them from inhaling or being exposed to the microscopic fibers which are still dangerous.
Please call or email me if I may be of further assistance.
I think asbestos was still being used in some building materials after 1950.
Seems like I remember things like floor tiles and pipe insulation after that, but not 100% sure.
You can check the epa website for all the updates.
for more information go to :http://www.asbestospopcornceilings.com/
Even though Asbestos was said to be banned mid 1900's, it has still been proven to show up in products such as wallboard joint compound, and drywall, textured products, popcorn materials, and many other building material. Some manufactureres were distributing products containing it against their own knowledge. There have been recent class action lawsuits in Texas, Florida, and other states in some cases proving this. If this is a major worry, I would definetly recommend hiring a proffessional to do testing.