How much does an Asbestos Survey Cost?
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When we know your asbestos survey requirements we can contact you with the cost of the survey.
Who is most likely to disturb asbestos?
Workers who carry out maintenance and repair jobs such as cutting or drilling into walls, ceilings or partitions, repairing boilers, laying cables.
Such workers include: Construction and demolition contractors, roofers, electricians, painters and decorators, joiners, plumbers, gas fitters, plasterers, shop fitters, heating and ventilation engineers, and surveyors; Electronics: phone and information technology engineers, alarm installers, General maintenance engineers and others who work on the fabric of a building.
Does the duty to manage asbestos affect me?
Yes, if you are responsible for maintenance and repairs.
You are a ‘dutyholder’ if:
- you own the building; you are responsible through a contract or tenancy agreement;
- there is no formal contract or agreement but you have control of the building;
- in a multi-occupied building, you are the owner and have taken responsibility for maintenance and repairs for the whole building.
Why manage asbestos?
Asbestos must be properly managed to prevent people dying from asbestos related disease in the future. Workers who carry out building maintenance and repair are particularly at risk. Each year 1000’s of people who worked in such trades die from past exposures to asbestos fibres. And these workers are still at risk. Half a million commercial buildings still contain asbestos. If you are responsible for managing the maintenance and repair of a building, you must manage any asbestos in it. As well as protecting people from exposure to asbestos fibres, you have a legal duty to manage asbestos (under regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006).
What diseases are caused by asbestos exposure?
As asbestos fibres accumulate in the lungs, several diseases may occur:
Two principal kinds of cancer:
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the pleural and peritoneal lining and is considered to be almost exclusively related to exposure to asbestos. It is almost always fatal with those affected usually dying within 1 or 2 years of diagnosis. Mesothelioma has a long latency period (i.e. the time between initial exposure and the onset of the disease) that is typically between 30 and 40 years.
Lung Cancer is a malignant tumour of the bronchi – the tubes carrying air to and from the lungs. The tumour grows through surrounding tissue, invading and often obstructing air passages. Again, the disease has a long latency period – typically at least 20 years.
Non-malignant lung diseases:
Asbestosis is a scarring of the lung tissue. This scarring impairs the elasticity of the lung, restricting their expansion and hampering their ability to exchange gases. This leads to inadequate oxygen intake to the blood. It is a slowly progressive disease with a latency period of 15 to 30 years.
Diffuse pleural thickening is a non-malignant disease in which the lining of the lung (pleura) becomes scarred. If it is extensive then it, too, can restrict expansion of the lungs and lead to breathlessness. It normally takes at least 10 years after the first exposure to develop asbestos related pleural disease. The disease is a chronic condition with no cure.
Small areas of scarring are called pleural plaques. They do not cause symptoms.
Who is currently at risk of being exposed to asbestos?
If disturbed, asbestos material may release asbestos fibres which can be inhaled into the lungs. Some kinds of asbestos fibres can remain there for a long time as they are not easily destroyed or degraded. Asbestos material that would crumble easily if handled, or that has been sawed, scraped, or sanded into a powder, is more likely to create a health hazard. Persons most likely to be currently exposed to asbestos are those working in building and maintenance trades, and to a lesser extent those involved in asbestos removal (where risks potentially exist unless rigorous precautions are taken.)
Why was asbestos used so extensively if it is such a hazard?
The asbestos minerals ability to resist high temperatures is what made it so useful. Asbestos is ideal for any process involving the conservation or preservation of heat. The fibre gives protection against fire, corrosion, cold, acids, alkalis, electricity, noise, energy loss, vibration, salt water, frost, dust and vermin. For a long time the dangers of asbestos use were not widely understood. Asbestos related disease generally takes many years – often several decades – to develop after exposure. Thus, the scale of the health risks were only becoming known after asbestos had already been widely used and many people had already been exposed.
Why is Asbestos a problem?
Although asbestos is a hazardous material it can only pose a risk to health if the asbestos fibres become airborne and are then inhaled. Therefore, most asbestos materials pose little risk unless they are disturbed in some way that allows the fibres to be released into the air. Inhalation of asbestos fibres can lead to serious diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma (a cancer of the linings of the lungs – the pleura, or lower digestive tract – the peritoneum) and asbestosis (a chronic fibrosis of the lungs). Many cases of these diseases occurring now are a result of exposure in industries that used asbestos extensively in the past. However, the fact that asbestos was also installed in many buildings means that a wider range of people still have the potential to be exposed – particularly building and maintenance workers. For this reason the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 brought together three previous sets of Regulations covering the prohibition of asbestos, the control of asbestos at work and asbestos licensing together with a ‘duty to manage asbestos’ for those responsible for non-domestic premises.
Where is Asbestos found?
Asbestos could be present in any building that was built or refurbished before the year 2000.
Some of the places where you may find asbestos are:
- Asbestos cement products
- Textured coatings
- Floor tiles, textiles and composites
- Sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls and beams/columns
- Asbestos insulating board
- Loose asbestos in ceiling or floor cavity
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that has been a popular building material since the 1950s.
It is used as an insulator (to keep in heat and keep out cold), has good fire protection properties and protects against corrosion.
Because asbestos is often mixed with another material, it’s hard to know if you’re working with it or not. But, if you work in a building built before the year 2000, it’s likely that some parts of the building will contain asbestos.
Asbestos is found in many products used in buildings, including ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, boilers and sprayed coatings.