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Asbestos Removal Information Guide

We all know how dangerous asbestos can be if it becomes airborne. If asbestos is disturbed and the fibres are breathed in they can enter the bloodstream and lead to life threatening illnesses. They can lay dormant in the body for up to 50 years and can lead to difficulty in breathing and tumours may grow on certain organs. Asbestos was originally used due to its resilience towards heat and chemicals. If your house was built before the year 2000, it is highly likely that asbestos can be found within your home. Due to the damages asbestos can have on a person’s health, it is imperative that your home is checked for asbestos, with the possibility of it being removed and disposed of in the appropriate way. We strongly recommend that you never deal with asbestos or any materials you feel may contain this hazardous substance. It is always best to employ specialist professionals who are used to dealing with asbestos and can work within the regulations and safety guidelines in order for it to pose no risk to anyone health.

We have written a guide to the removal of asbestos, so you know what to expect and the options that are available to you.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral.  There are three main types of fibres -

 Chrysotile (white)

 Amosite (brown)

 Crocidolite (blue)

Where you may find asbestos

One of the most common uses of asbestos in the home is in asbestos cement products. This is often used in the construction of garages, sheds, soffit boards, roof tiles, fire surrounds, eaves, spouts, drainpipes, flue pipes and water systems.

Due to its heat resistance, asbestos can also be found in insulation materials. Asbestos insulation is used in some warm air heating systems and also for lining central heating cupboards. Some storage heaters contain asbestos material as well as ironing boards.

Older houses may find that asbestos has been used in some pipe and boiler lagging, or it has been sprayed on steel in order to protect the structure and insulate the home or building. If asbestos is present in these materials, it can be expensive to remove but it is vital that it is done.

Asbestos can be found in certain paints, floor tiles, adhesives, oven doors, oven gloves and even fire blankets and electric heaters.  Some vehicle brake shoes or pads can also contain asbestos.

If you suspect asbestos may be present in your home or building then you should employ a reputable company to conduct an asbestos survey. Having an asbestos survey will establish if there is any asbestos within your home. Once found, you can then be advised how to maintain the material so it doesn’t pose any risks to your health. An asbestos survey will locate and record any areas containing or suspected to contain asbestos. It will assess the condition of the material and send a sample off to be tested by an accredited asbestos testing company. The company will then advice you on whether the asbestos should be maintained or removed.

It is good to know that The Control of Asbestos Regulations state that for safety reasons there should be no more than 0.1 fibres of asbestos per millilitre of air, which is measured over a period of four hours. A qualified surveyor will carry out an asbestos air test by collecting a gas sample from the atmosphere and having it sent to an accredited lab.

If it has been confirmed that asbestos is present and it has been decided that it is best for the asbestos to be completely removed you should always employ a qualified company to carry this out. They have received specialised training; they have the appropriate equipment and clothing in order to deal with asbestos safely. Specialised companies will also know how to destroy the asbestos material in a responsible manner and adhere to the strict laws that have been laid down.

If you suspect or have found asbestos then always contact a specialised asbestos removal company or your local government, who may be able to remove it for you. 

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