AsbestosAsbestos is a mineral fibre known for its strength and fire resistance. It was used as a building material for many years and can still be found in some older buildings, especially in ceiling tiles, internal walls, insulating boards and pipe laggings.
Asbestos is very dangerous if it is inhaled and it has been linked to conditions such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. So it's important to avoid releasing asbestos dust into the air.
Materials containing asbestos that are in good condition pose little risk to public health as the fibres aren't airborne. Poorly maintained or damaged asbestos materials pose a higher risk and therefore need to be handled with extreme care.
How do I know if I have asbestos in my property?There are various factors to consider when assessing if your property could contain asbestos. These include the age and condition of the property.
The Health and Safety Executive website contains useful information on the types of asbestos and where it is likely to be found in the home.
- Use the Health and Safety Executive's interactive diagram to find out where you might find asbestos in your home
What do I do if I have asbestos in my property?
Assess conditionCheck asbestos for signs of deterioration such as flaking or crumbling.
Do not disturb asbestos which is in good condition and is located where it can't be damaged.
Check the asbestos from time to time for signs of deterioration.
Repair or removeAsbestos materials can sometimes be repaired by sealing or enclosing the material. A licensed asbestos contractor will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Badly damaged or deteriorating asbestos materials are likely to release fibres into the air and should be removed. You may need a licensed as besots removal contractor depending on the type and quantity of asbestos material. For example, sprayed asbestos, lagging and insulation boards should always be removed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor due to the health and safety risk.
Disposal of asbestosAll materials containing asbestos must be disposed of as Special Waste and MUST NOT be disposed of with normal household waste.
Domestic asbestos collection serviceWe can arrange the collection and disposal of small household items containing asbestos. If using this service you must follow special handling procedures such as double bagging and labelling before collection.
Non-domestic asbestosAll non-domestic asbestos waste material must be disposed of by a licensed asbestos removal contractor or by arrangement directly with a licensed disposal site. You can contact the Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA) for a list of contractors in your area. For more information phone them on 01283 531126 or visit www.arca.org.uk
Asbestos and rented accommodationIf you suspect you have asbestos in your rented accommodation and it's in poor condition you should inform your landlord immediately. If your landlord fails to take action to repair or remove the asbestos you should contact our Public Health Unit for advice on 028 9027 0428 or email email@example.com
Asbestos and home ownersIf you are a home owner and suspect that you have asbestos in your property you should assess the condition of the asbestos. If it appears to be in a poor condition you should contact a licensed asbestos removal contractor.
Do not attempt to carry out any DIY work at home involving asbestos materials. Always seek specialist advice from a licensed asbestos contractor before starting the work.