What is Asbestos
Asbestos refers to a group of minerals that comprise certain microscopic fibres. This collectively became known as asbestos, something that was used in construction projects across the UK throughout the last century.
Use of the substance declined during the 1980s and asbestos become officially illegal towards the turn of the millennium. This is once the danger it posed became clear. However, it continues to exist in high quantities throughout the UK.
This is why locating and removing asbestos is so. important today. However, this should only ever be attempted by qualified. professionals who are trained in asbestos removal.
Where Can It Be Found?
Asbestos can be found in any building that was constructed before or during the 20th century. It has been used in walls, ceilings and flooring as insulation material.
Although it can also be found covering piping and other forms of industrial machinery within homes and commercial buildings.
Asbestos was also blended into concrete and cement, so it can appear on roofs, drainpipes and other external building fittings. The key to locating asbestos is to use a testing kit on materials suspected of containing it or have a full asbestos survey undertaken.
Why Was Asbestos Used
Asbestos was very popular before its dangers were discovered. It was considered a ‘magic material’ by those in the construction trade.
This is mainly because it is fireproof, un-conducive and thoroughly insulating, meaning building companies used it wherever they could. It was also cheap and easy to produce.
In time, it became so widely used that the task of tracking it down for removal is still going on today. Asbestos will probably still be found in buildings many years from now.
What Are My Obligations?
First consider when your building was constructed or modified. If your building is due repairs or renovation work and you suspect asbestos may be present, you’ll need to detect it first.
This can be done by arranging for a full asbestos survey of the property, alternatively if you're looking for a more localised / targeted approach you could use an asbestos testing kit
If asbestos is detected within the area due for renovation or repair, then it will need to be removed to ensure the safety of those nearby. This could be yourself, your family, employees or contractors.
This is something we can help you arrange through out asbestos removal quote portal (you'll get 5 free quotes from asbestos companies near you)
For more information about your legal obligations we recommend visiting the HSE website (asbestos section)
Health Risks with Asbestos
Asbestos fibres can be inhaled and can cause lung cancer over time. If asbestos is disturbed, it can release thousands of dangerous microscopic fibres into the air. These can then be breathed in and cause irreparable damage.
The fibres can cause a range of dangerous respiratory disorders that develop slowly over time. This is why asbestos needs to be located and removed before renovation work begins.
Asbestos which is in good condition and remains undisturbed poses little risk to health.
But all buildings need repair work and renovation at some point. This is usually when asbestos becomes a concern – and when it can get disturbed and the particles released.
If you may come into contact with asbestos fibres ensure you're always wearing the correct PPE & RPE to protect your health.