The word asbestos actually comes from the Greek word meaning “inextinguishable” or “indestructible” and it was just that so this is why it was used in many buildings across the world simply because of its Strength, heat/sound Insulation, Fire protection, resistant to chemicals, water and electricity. Unfortunately exposure to Asbestos primarily caused through inhalation of unsealed tiny fibres that can linger in the air for a considerable time can lead to diseases such as Asbestosis, Lung Cancer or Mesothelioma.
Most of us would have heard of the asbestos colour rating system of white, brown and blue but did you know there are actually 6 different types of asbestos?
Chrysotile – White asbestos and the most common type found in homes
- Textured coating Artex
- Garage/shed corrugated sheeting
- Ceiling/wall panels
- Thermoplastic floor tiles
- Guttering / down pipes
- Water tanks
Amosite – Brown asbestos used for Thermal insulation
- Pipe insulation
- Ceiling /wall panels
- Ceiling tiles
Crocidolite – Blue asbestos used as a spray insulation coating
- Steam engine insulation
- Boiler insulation
- Protection of building steel work
Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthophylite asbestos fibres are much less common and were used in limited quantities mainly for vermiculite or talc
The use of most types of asbestos was banned in the 1980’s, although one form (Chrysotile) was still widely used in construction in the UK until 1999.
Although it continues to be the single biggest cause of work related deaths in the UK (HSE current statistics 2019 show over 5000 deaths a year with no sign of declining) having said this asbestos is relatively harmless if it remains in an undamaged and undisturbed state.
It’s important to know the nature and extent of any hidden asbestos containing materials (ACMs) prior carrying out any intrusive works to a property. If asbestos is present, it’s our job to advise you to make an informed decision whether to remove it or manage it.
See below picture and list of places asbestos can be hiding in your property.