Asbestos has been banned in construction as a material since 1999 in the UK. If there is asbestos present in a building due to repairs, maintenance, demolition, refurbishment or renovation, it can cause long-term problems for those who are exposed to deadly asbestos fibres. Understanding more about asbestos could save your life, or help you prevent long-term illness for your employers, colleagues, family members or members of the public. Understanding the threat is important, but understanding the processes in place to investigate and remove asbestos safely is even more important. It could make a big difference to the safety of those around you.
Asbestos was used as a primary material within construction in the UK from the early 1930s until it was banned in 1999. It was primarily used for its insulation and fire resistant properties. The problem is, that it was discovered that when asbestos fibres are released into the air it could cause serious damage to those who inhale. Despite the ban in 1999 there are many buildings with asbestos present. It is not harmful if left undisturbed, but whenever there is call for a structure to be demolished, or for a building to be renovated or refurbished, there is a good chance that asbestos could be disturbed and asbestos fibres released into the air.
Many homeowners decide that even though it is to be left undisturbed they do not want to take the risk of asbestos being present in their home. This is entirely understandable, and when you combine it with those structures where it is likely to be disturbed due to the type of work being conducted, it is easy to see why it is so important to have a legal framework surrounding asbestos, its analysis, and its safe removal from buildings where it has been found present.
There is a correct journey to take if you believe asbestos is present in your home and want it to be safely removed. Never try to move it without professional help, as this is illegal and also potentially very dangerous. Contact a professional asbestos contractor that can visit your property and analyse the precise location of asbestos, the amounts and how dangerous it is. Once a decision has been made on whether it is safe to stay in place or must be removed, they can arrange for the asbestos to be removed in a safe and secure manner where no person is exposed to potentially deadly asbestos fibres.
If you believe that there is a possibility that asbestos is present in your home, your place of work, or a development that you are working on, you should immediately notify the authorities and look to hire an asbestos survey team that can help you investigate the matter further. Asbestos is a dangerous material when disturbed, with exposure to fibres potentially causing terminal illnesses, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related illnesses. As they will not display symptoms for many decades in the vast majority of cases you should never take the risk that you could be exposed. Licensed contractors are legally required to deal with the safe removal of asbestos where it is needed, so always contact a professional asbestos survey team.