About Asbestos

Asbestos is a highly heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics, building material for fire-resistant, insulating and strengthening purpose. It was widely used in construction industry up until it was banned due to being carcinogenic and cause of other asbestos related diseases.

“Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals etc.) & causes around 5000 deaths every year”, Health Safety Executive 2015

Asbestos mine

Asbestos is mined

About-asbestos Asbestos fibre

Asbestos fibres in rock

End face of the asbestine pipes laid at each other in a stack

Asbestos cement pipes

Due to cost, availability and its “brilliant” properties, Asbestos was widely used or mixed with many different products for construction and other purpose, throughout the 20th century.

Remember !

  • You can’t see or smell asbestos in the air!
  • Asbestos is only a danger when fibres are made airborne and breathed in.
  • The effects of being exposed to asbestos take many years to show up – avoid breathing it in now.
  • Not knowing your building has asbestos increases the risk of accidental damage, leading to exposure to asbestos fires.
  • All duty holders must comply with regulation 4 of CAR 2012.
  • Arrange an Asbestos Survey for your piece of mind!

Where Asbestos Containing Material can be found.

This is not an exhaustive list of areas in residential or commercial buildings where asbestos containing material may be found. Our competent surveyors will inspect all areas as far as reasonable practicable to do so.

Asbestos in residential buildings
  1. Toilet cistern & seat
  2. AIB ceiling tiles
  3. Bath panel
  4. Airing cupboard
  5. Pipe lagging
  6. Water tanks
  7. Loose fill insulation
  8. Textured coating e.g Artex
  9. Soffits & Fascias
  10.  Guttering
  11.  Down pipes
  12.  Partition walls
  13. External window panel
  14.  Internal window panel
  15.  Cement roof sheets
  16.  Panel behind fire
  17. Cement wall panels
  18.  Behind / inside fuse box
  19. Roofing felt
  20.  Vinyl floor tiles
  21. Around boilers, storage heaters, etc.

Asbestos in commercial buildings
  1. Toilet cistern & seat
  2. Textured coating e.g Artex
  3. AIB in /on fire door
  4. Water tanks
  5. Spayed coating – wall, beams , etc
  6. Flue pipe
  7. Asbestos cement roof
  8. Asbestos cement panels
  9. Soffits & Fascias
  10. AIB ceiling tiles
  11. Gutters & downpipes
  12. loose fill insulation
  13.  Textiles -e.g fire blanket
  14.  AIB near boiler, storage heaters, etc
  15.  Lagging to pipes
  16. Vinyl floor tiles
  17.  Lagging to boiler
  18.  AIB partition walls
  19.  Asbestos rope, gaskets, paper

Who’s at risk & When they’re at risk.

Private individuals, tradesmen and many professions occasionally come across asbestos containing materials knowingly or unknowingly.

  • Heating and ventilation engineers
  • Demolition & refurbishment workers
  • Carpenters, joiners, roofing contractors
  • Plumbers, gas fitters
  • Plasterers, painters and decorators
  • Construction workers
  • Fire and burglar alarm installers, shop fitters
  • Computer and data installers, telecommunications engineers
  • General maintenance staff, caretakers
  • Architects, building surveyors

This list is not exhaustive.

  • The building you are working was built  pre2000
  • Working on an unfamiliar site
  • Asbestos materials were not identified before the job was started
  • ACMs identified but information not passed on to the people doing the work
  • You haven’t done a risk assessment
  • You don’t know how to recognise and work safely with asbestos
  • You have not had appropriate information, instruction and training
  • You know how to work safely with asbestos, but you choose to ignore the risk

Further reading about asbestos