Asbestos was widely used during 1950-1980 to build businesses and homes. Asbestos is now illegal in any construction or refurbishment work, but many buildings may still contain asbestos.
Remember though, it’s only a health risk where fibres are released into the air and breathed in. When safely managed, asbestos doesn't present a health hazard. Therefore, never remove, sand, scrape or drill a textured coating or material which you suspect contains asbestos until it has been tested – this could be more dangerous than leaving it undisturbed. Surfaces which are in good condition and haven’t been sanded down can be cleaned and repainted.
Asbestos may be found in:
- floor tiles
- artex / textured coatings
- plaster finishes / wall boards
- sprayed coatings to pipework
- lagging around pipes and hot water cylinders
- water tanks
- lining boards on the back of boilers or service cupboard doors
- inside electrical distribution boards and fuses
- internal window sill boards
- corrugated cement roofing sheets (used on garages/outhouses)
- artificial slate roof
- gutters / rainwater pipes
Asbestos should only be removed or treated by a licensed contractor.
Housing tenants who suspect asbestos in their house should contact their local housing office, who will advise them what they need to do. The Council surveys a percentage of properties each year, allowing us to identify any risks and safely manage future repairs and improvements and keep you safe.
Home owners should contact a private asbestos contractor to sample and analyse materials and advise on what to do next.
Contact Environmental Services for independent advice or if you suspect asbestos has been dumped and get further advice and information from the Health and Safety Executive website.