Dozens of countries around the world have already banned the use of asbestos in the civil construction sector. Cheap to extract and abundant in nature, it is a natural fiber used to manufacture water tanks, insulation, partitions, tiles and decorative elements. Its properties include great flexibility and high chemical, thermal and electrical resistance, making it a seemingly ideal material. However, there is scientific evidence that links exposure to asbestos to several types of cancer, as well as to asbestosis – when the fibers of the mineral lodge in the pulmonary alveoli, compromising the respiratory capacity. The asbestos case shows how certain construction materials can –suddenly or not– become a distant memory because of their negative impacts. In addition to the effects on health, the use of materials with high energy consumption or made of rare raw materials is currently under pressure, as experts call to reduce their use or to make their manufacturing methods “greener”. The penalty? Disappearing in the near future, becoming yet another in the list of banned building materials. In this article, we delve into some of these materials and what their risks are.