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Pages in Asbestos

  1. What is asbestos?
  2. Asbestos in business premises
  1. Asbestos in the home

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural material that was widely used in the past for building work because of the protection it gave against heat and fire.

Why is asbestos hazardous? 

When it is left in place it poses little risk, but if it is disturbed and fibres are inhaled, it can cause a variety of diseases such as lung cancer.

The risk of getting these diseases increases depending on how many times and for how long you have been exposed to asbestos. There is often a long period between exposure and illness (15 - 40 years).

Since the dangers of asbestos have been identified, imports have been banned and its use has been reduced, but up until about 1980 asbestos containing materials (ACMs) were still in use. Because of its use in building, it can be disturbed during maintenance, refurbishment and demolition or if there is vandalism. 

Which materials are likely to contain asbestos?

 Typical asbestos containing materials include:

  • Cement roof sheets
  • Asbestos insulation board
  • Spray lagging
  • Cement pipe work
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Decorative textured wall and ceiling finishes

Asbestos waste

All asbestos waste is classified as hazardous and should be dealt with by a licensed carrier, fly tipping is a criminal offence.

Health and safety team

Environmental Health


Tel: 08085 834333


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