Asbestos was extensively used as a building material in the UK from the 1950s through to the mid 1980s. It was used for a variety of purposes and was ideal for fireproofing and insulation. Any building built before 2000 can contain asbestos.
Asbestos is safe when it is undamaged and in good condition. It becomes dangerous when damaged and the fibres become airborne and are inhaled. A key factor in the risk of developing an asbestos related disease is the total number of fibres breathed in.
What should you do if you think you may have asbestos in your home?
If you're going to do the work yourseIf
Use handtools - not power tools
Have all the wrapping materials ready before you start the work
Keep materials damp - but not too wet
Wear a properly fitted suitable mask. An ordinary dust mask will not be effective
Clean as you go. Use a special vacuum cleaner, not a brush
Ensure the asbestos is appropriately wrapped
Wear disposable overalls, one size too big to avoid ripping
Remove your overalls before removing your mask
Do not wash the overalls. Place them in the wrapping with the rest of the asbestos and dispose of them properly
Wear boots without laces which can be easily washed clean, or use disposable boot covers
Asbestos containing materials are hazardous waste and need to be appropriately and legally disposed of
Asbestos should NEVER be mixed with normal household waste.
Asbestos should ALWAYS be disposed of at the household waste recycling centre, properly wrapped and sealed, or by a properly licenced contractor.