A collection of asbestos signs and glove

What is Asbestos?

What is Asbestos and how to identify this danger in your home or business?

Asbestos is a term used to refer to six naturally occurring silicate minerals made of microscopic fibrous crystals including chrysotile, actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, crocidolite and tremolite. Each fibre is composed of many microscopic ‘fibrils’ that can be released into the atmosphere by abrasion. Before its dangers were known, asbestos was used in buildings for insulation, flooring, roofing and sprayed on ceilings and walls. Asbestos is banned in the UK but buildings constructed before 2000 may still have asbestos in them. 
 
If asbestos inside your home or business remains intact and undamaged, it poses little risk. When asbestos is damaged or disturbed, tiny asbestos fibres are released into the air and exposure to these particles can cause serious health conditions including Cancer and Asbestosis. Symptoms of Asbestosis can appear years after the original exposure to asbestos. There’s no cure for asbestosis once it has developed, as it’s not possible to reverse the damage to the lungs.
 
According to recent studies, the health risks associated with asbestos type can vary, but all asbestos is dangerous and exposure to any type of asbestos can lead to cancers, asbestosis and other illnesses.

What is Asbestos used for?

Asbestos was a popular material used by many manufacturers in a variety of products designed to be heat resistance or fireproof. The mineral was used in insulation, cement, flooring, roofing and fireproof products. Asbestos was once used in thousands of products until 1999 when Asbestos Safety Regulations prevented new products from containing Asbestos.
 
Any product exposed to high temperatures or friction is likely to contain asbestos. Homeowners with houses built before 2000 should be particularly careful. Asbestos can be deemed safe if properly contained but could become a health risk when damaged or removed. Asbestos materials may also become exposed due to wear and tear or after adverse weather conditions. 

Safely Removing Asbestos

Asbestos has been used in a wide variety of construction materials and although it's been banned since 1999, there are many domestic and commercial properties that still contain a lot of asbestos materials. You should never touch, move or dispose of asbestos-containing material on your own, it is very dangerous. Asbestos professionals are trained and certified in identifying, handling and properly disposing of this material. Asbestos can not be put in the bin or disposed in the normal way at your local waste and recycling centre. Asbestos requires specific packaging and labelling before disposal at designated locations.

If you manage the maintenance of any commercial property, you are also responsible for making sure that it's Asbestos safe, undamaged, monitored or removed safely. It’s also useful to understand that even though it’s been illegal to use asbestos in the UK since 1999, some rogue builders and contractors are known to have used it since then. So even when managing a domestic property built since 2000, take care to ensure that asbestos is not present. If you do not have a plan to deal with asbestos under the current regulations, you could face a fine of up to £20,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months.

How to identify Asbestos in your home or business

There could be over 1/2 Million properties in the UK that still contain asbestos in some way or another. Up until 1985, all types of asbestos could still be legally used in construction throughout the UK. Asbestos was popular and actively used to create appliances and buildings all over the country. Asbestos could be found in insulation, roofing materials, boilers and pipes. The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) believe all buildings constructed before 2000 may contain asbestos. Asbestos was once used in the construction of everything, ranging from schools to industrial factories. For this reason, workers must be cautious when being exposed to older buildings. Tradespeople such as electricians, builder, and plumbers face considerable risk when working in old buildings. 

If you manage the maintenance of any commercial property, you are also responsible for making sure that it's Asbestos safe, undamaged, monitored or removed safely. It’s also useful to understand that even though it’s been illegal to use asbestos in the UK since 1999, some rogue builders and contractors are known to have used it since then. So even when managing a domestic property built since 2000, take care to ensure that asbestos is not present. If you do not have a plan to deal with asbestos under the current regulations, you could face a fine of up to £20,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months.

 

Below, you will find information about some of the most commonly found Asbestos products in the home and business. If you find any of the following products or have concerns about a potential presence of asbestos, call TAG Asbestos free on 0800 158 8557

Likely locations containing Asbestos Materials

These products could potentially contain asbestos depending on the age of the building and the materials used in its construction.

If you think your property could potentially contain Asbestos. Contact TAG Asbestos today

1. Asbestos Cement Products

Corrugated Asbestos Cement Sheets were commonly used in the construction of roofs for Factories, Farms, Schools, sheds and outbuildings.

2. Textured Coatings

Asbestos Textured coatings were used on walls and in Artex for ceilings in council properties and commercial buildings. 

3. Floor Tiles and Textiles

A plastic resin manufactured from ethylene and chlorine mixed with asbestos for greater strength and insulation.

4. Sprayed Coatings

An Asbestos spray paint often applied to walls, beams and steel structures to increase thermal protection. 

5. Insulation Board

Insulation board containing Asbestos was often used as fire protection and sound insulation in wall linings, Ducts and Ceiling tiles.

6. Lagging

Asbestos Lagging was a popular product in the public sector used in the construction of most public buildings and system built flats.

7. Ceiling and Floor Cavities

Asbestos insulation used in floor and ceiling cavities also used under linoleum, vinyl and asphalt floor tiles for padding and insulation.

Do you need help identifying Asbestos

Asbestos comes in all shapes and sizes and it can be very difficult to identify. Since its ban, Asbestos substitutes have been used to replace this harmful substance which means the only way to be sure of asbestos content is to chemically test its properties. If you are unsure if you have asbestos in your home or business, send us a photo and a brief description of the project or item in question and we will confirm if further investigation is necessary. Please use the form or email your photo to tagasbestos@outlook.com

ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT SERVICES

TAG Asbestos, 

Centaur House, Ancells Business Park,

Ancells Road,

Fleet, Hampshire GU51 2UJ

Freephone: 0800 158 8557

email: tagasbestos@outlook.com

  • Facebook

© 2021 TAG Asbestos