Large amounts of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were used for a wide range of construction purposes in new and refurbished buildings until 1999, when all use of asbestos was banned. This extensive use means that there are still many buildings in Great Britain that contain asbestos. Where asbestos materials are in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed, they do not present a risk. However, where the materials are in poor condition or are disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibres are released into the air, which, if breathed in, can cause serious lung diseases, including cancers.
There are three types of asbestos:
Chrysotile. Known as white asbestos. The fibres are soft and fine which can resist high temperatures. Chrysotile was banned in the UK in 1999.
Amosite. Known as brown asbestos. The fibres are spiky which have good tensile strength. Used mainly between the 1920s and the late 60’s. Amosite was banned in the UK in 1986.
Crocidolite. Known as blue asbestos. The fibres are like needles and are the strongest. Crocidolite has been used since the 1880’s and was finally banned by the Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations in 1985.
Management requirements are placed on ‘duty-holders’, who should:
- take reasonable steps to determine the location of materials likely to contain asbestos;
- presume materials to contain asbestos, unless there are good reasons not to do so;
- make and maintain a written record of the location of the ACMs and presumed ACMs;
- assess and monitor the condition of ACMs and presumed ACMs;
- assess the risk of exposure from ACMs and presumed ACMs and prepare a written plan of the actions and measures necessary to manage the risk (ie the ‘management plan’); and
- take steps to see that these actions are carried out.
As a completely independent company, we will always give you the most cost effective and commonsense solution to any asbestos that may be present in your building.
All of our asbestos risk assessment and asbestos testing is carried out following the guidelines set out in HSG264. A common misunderstanding is that an Asbestos surveyor will recommend removal of all asbestos after carrying out a survey. In some cases, a simple calculation is used to arrive at the action you need to take regarding control of your asbestos.
Identifying where the problem lies is the first step toward solving it. Asbestos removal will always be the worst-case scenario, and because we are not affiliated to any removal companies, we will only recommend removal if there is no other solution.
Asbestos Containing Materials
- Corrugated roof sheeting
- Roof tiles
- Thermoplastic floor tiles
- Insulating board
- Spray coatings
- Fire protection