Asbestos The Facts

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material, regularly used in building work from the 1950’s up until the late 1990’s. Any building built or refurbished before the year 2000 may contain asbestos. It was often used as an insulation and fire-proofing material and is often found in products such as ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, boilers, sprayed coatings and garage roofs. There are three main different types of asbestos, chrysotile (white), amosite (brown) and crocidolite (blue). Removing asbestos is particularly dangerous as the fibres become harmful when disturbed and released into the atmosphere. The risk of releasing these dangerous fibres is particularly high without proper training, equipment and control measures and if handled incorrectly and inhaled can cause serious diseases. It can take as little as 10 years and up to 50 years to develop these diseases depending on exposure. Asbestos exposure causes 5000 deaths every year, vastly more than the number of people killed on UK roads, this figure is expected to reach 10,000 per annum by 2020.