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Making Asbestos Safety Simple

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Where is Asbestos found?

Asbestos was widely 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 is resistant to heat, fire, electricity and chemicals.  As a result it was ideal for fireproofing and insulation.

Any building built before 2000 (factories, offices, schools, hospitals, houses etc) can contain asbestos. Asbestos materials in good condition are safe unless asbestos fibres become airborne, which happens when materials are damaged.

Some asbestos containing materials are more suseptible to damage and more likely to give off fibres than others. In general, materials which contain a high percentage of asbestos are more easily damaged.

Materials that can contain asbestos include:

  • Asbestos cement products. These can be flat or corrugated sheets. Corrugated sheets are largely used as roofing and wall cladding. Other asbestos cement products include gutters, rainwater pipes and water tanks. 
  • Moulded or preformed lagging.  Generally used for thermal insulation of pipe and boilers. 
  • Sprayed asbestos.  Used as fire protection in ceiling voids, ceiling panels, ducts, firebreaks, panels, partitions, soffit boards, and around structural steel work.
  • Insulating boards  Used for fire protection, thermal insulation, partitioning and ducts.
  • Some ceiling tiles
  • Millboard.  Asbestos paper and paper products used for insulation of electrical equipment. 
  • Some textured coatings. The most well know of which is "Artex".
  • Bitumen roofing material and damp proof courses.
  • Vinyl or thermoplastic.  Floor tiles, black toilet seats and cisterns.

Around the work place and home

Although your surroundings may seem innocuous, the danger of asbestos is all around us.

Below are examples of where you may find absestos.

Accoustic Insulating Board

Textured Coating (Artex)

Asbestos Cement Products

Cement Soffitts

Cement Corrugated Roofing Sheets

Floor Tiles (Marley)

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