About Asbestos

A brief introduction into asbestos, where it can be found and how to deal with it.

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.

Want to learn more? He's some other interesting articles we've written:

Where Can It Be Found?

Asbestos can be found in any building that was constructed 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. Alternatively hiring an asbestos surveyor to conduct a full survey of the property.

Want to learn more about where asbestos can be found? Here some other pages which may interest you:

Artex / Textured Coatings 
Commonly found in ceilings and walls.
Click to learn more.

Cement Sheets
Commonly found in roofing and walls
Click to learn more.

Floor Tiles 
Commonly found in roofing and walls
Click to learn more.

Insulation Board / AIB
Commonly found in ceilings and walls.
Click to learn more.

Thermal Insulation
Commonly found on pipework
Click to learn more.

Loose Fill
Commonly found in lofts/attic
Click to learn more.

Many more, Click here to see what other products contain asbestos

Why Was Asbestos Used?

If asbestos was so dangerous, then why was it used? Well, 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, non-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.

Worryingly asbestos will probably still be found in buildings many years from now.

What Are My Obligations If I Have Asbestos in My Home or Commercial Property?

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 either using one of our asbestos sample testing kits or arranging for a full asbestos survey, for a more thorough search.

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). 

Its worth noting that if you do find asbestos in your property in good condition and with no need to be disturbed, then there is no reason to get it removed. Asbestos in good condition and without being disturbed is perfectly safe as the asbestos fibres are contained within the material.

If you do find asbestos and would like it removed professionally then we recommend visiting the HSE Website to find a licensed contractor,

What Are the Health Risks of 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.

Have you thought about using an asbestos testing kit to check suspect materials?

Our kits have been specifically designed to enable you to quickly and safely take a sample and send them off to a UKAS accredited lab for testing. Results are issued within 24hrs of us receiving them.

  • Full Protective Equipment Included (including FFP3 Respirator, Cat 5 Coveralls & Gloves)
  • Have your certificate results within 24hrs
  • Free Return Postage to the UKAS Lab
  • Easy to follow instructions included.
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