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Worker Carrying Asbestos Board

About asbestos

Where can asbestos be found?

Any building, domestic or commercial, built or refurbished before the year 2000 can include asbestos. Many of the common materials used in the building trade can contain asbestos, and you may come across it during your work.

internally

The common places to find asbestos internally are:

  • Coatings sprayed on ceilings, walls, beams and columns

  • Asbestos cement water tank

  • Loose fill insulation

  • Lagging on boilers and pipes

  • AIB ceiling tiles

  • Viny floor tiles

  • Textured decorating coatings on walls and ceilings (e.g: artex)

externally

The common places to find asbestos externally are:

  • Gutters and downpipes

  • Soffits

  • Asbestos cement roof

  • Asbestos cement panels

  • Roofing felt

  • Asbestos cement flue

  • Windows puttys

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The dangers of asbestos

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself now.

the history of asbestos

The history of asbestos in the UK dates back to the late 1870s when the use of the material started, mainly on ships, steam engines and in power generating plants. By early 1900s the dangers of asbestos started becoming known – yet it wasn’t until 1999 when all types of asbestos were banned in the UK. Today, asbestos is still widely used in the developing world.

types of asbestos

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