Asbestos in your home?
We represent clients who have contracted asbestos related illnesses, if you are worried about Asbestos in your home then please visit https://www.gov.uk/asbestos-in-home for more help and information.
Asbestos in your place of work?
We represent clients who have contracted asbestos related illnesses, if you are worried about Asbestos in your home then please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/ for more help and information.
How to recognise asbestos in the home
There are 3 main types of asbestos which have been used in building materials and consumer goods for many years. These are:-
- White asbestos (chrysotile)
- Brown asbestos (amosite)
- Blue asbestos (crocidolite)
It is impossible to tell whether or not it is asbestos just by looking at it, laboratory tests are the only way of identification. There are typical uses for asebstos in the home which may prove a useful indicator.
- Since 1976 British manufacturers have put labels on their products to show they contain asbestos, and since 1986 all products containing asbestos carry the European label.
- The manufacturer or supplier of a product may be able to tell you if it contains asbestos.
- Homes built at the same time often contain the same or similar materials. Ask your neighbours if any surveys for asbestos have been carried out.
Where in my house could I find asbestos?
In the building of houses during the 1950s through to the early 1970s asbestos was commmonly used. If your home was built during this period it is possible that asbestos was used. If your house was built since the mid-1980s it is unlikely to contain asbestos as suitable alternatives were used. If your house was built after 1990 it is very unlikley to contain any asebstos.
Potential locations for asbestos within the home include the following:
- leaves, gutters and rainwater fall pipes;
- garages and sheds;
- fire blankets;
- linings for walls, ceilings and doors;
- insulation panels in some storage heaters;
- bath panels;
- central heating flues;
- packing between floors and in partition walls;
- floor tiles;
- Asbestos has been used in the manufacture of simmering pads, oven gloves and fire blankets. Ovens, ironing boards and heaters may also have asbestos components as may some friction materials, eg clutch pads and brake pads.
What are the health risks associated with asbestos?
Asbestos fibres enter the body through the nose and mouth. They cannot be absorbed through the skin. The body naturally removes any asbestos fibres that you might take in with food and water. The body also removes most of the larger fibres, but tiny fibres can pass into the lung where they can cause disease. Asbestos dust can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma and certain types of cancer, for which there is no cure.
All asbestos must therefore be considered to be potentially dangerous, although people who have not worked directly with it are very unlikely to develop a related disease.
There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos, but there is no doubt that people who work with asbestos materials are at much more risk than householders. The risk to health in the home environment is therefore slight.
I live in an former council home – does the Council have any information about whether asbestos may be present in it?
You are advised to contact your local Housing Department who should be able to provide you with more information.
I suspect that there is asbestos in my house – what should I do?
If you suspect that you have found asbestos materials in your home then you should not drill into them, sand them, saw them or in any way disturb them, as this would create fibres that can be inhaled.
If you think there is asbestos in your home you should seek expert advice (asbestos monitoring/surveying and removal companies are listed in the Yellow Pages).
Can I remove asbestos from my home?
We strongly advise that you DO NOT attempt to remove any asbestos from your home. You must contact an expert removal company.
Who can I employ to have it removed?
Various contractors can be found by looking in the yellow Pages under “A” for Asbestos Removals. You can check whether a contractor is licensed by contacting the Health and Safety Executive. If an asbestos contractor does not have a license this indicates that they have not passed essential requirements of the Health & Safety Executive.
More advice on Asbestos in your home here