Putting on PPE Breathing Gear

Frequently Asked Questions

Got some questions to ask about asbestos, the dangers of asbestos and how to remove and dispose of it? Then read some of our FAQs below for answers.


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    Does work on asbestos cement require a licence?

    Most work on asbestos cement can be carried out without a licence providing workers have had appropriate information, instruction and training.

    What is the 'duty to manage' asbestos and who has it?

    The duty to manage asbestos is a legal requirement under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (Regulation 4). It applies to the owners and occupiers of commercial premises (such as shops, offices, industrial units etc) who have responsibility for maintenance and repair activities. In addition to these responsibilities, they also have a duty to assess the presence and condition of any asbestos-containing materials. If asbestos is present, or is presumed to be present, then it must be managed appropriately. The duty also applies to the shared parts of some domestic premises.

    I have just bought a property. Could it contain asbestos?

    Asbestos may be part of any commercial or domestic building which was built or refurbished before the year 2000. Asbestos can typically still be found in any of the following:

    • – Asbestos cement products (pipes, flues, roofs etc)
    • – Lagging (on pipes and boilers etc)
    • – Water tanks and toilet cisterns
    • – Asbestos insulating board (AIB – which closely resembles typical plasterboard)
    • – Loose asbestos in ceiling and wall cavities
    • – Sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls and beams / columns
    • – Textured decorative coatings (commonly referred to as Artex)
    • – Floor tiles
    • – Textiles and composites

    How do I know if I need an asbestos survey?

    If you own or are in charge of a property built before the year 2000, it may have asbestos containing materials (ACMs) within the structure. It wasn’t until August 1999 that asbestos became a prohibited substance in the UK. This is why it’s imperative that extra care is taken when carrying out building work on premises built prior to this time.

    To comply with the ‘Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012’, you have to make sure that the correct asbestos survey is carried out to identify and manage the risk of any ACMs that are present. The main types of asbestos survey are as follows:

    • – Asbestos Management Survey
    • – Asbestos Refurbishment Survey
    • – Re-Inspections
    • – Soil Surveys

    Will asbestos be okay if undisturbed?

    This depends on your premises, its usage and the location of the asbestos material, or if you’re planning any refurbishments. If there is any risk that asbestos fibers will be released into the atmosphere, they can post a risk to human health and should be treated.

    How asbestos is removed?

    Different types of asbestos require different types of control measures regulated by the HSE, however all asbestos should be removed by trained operatives with the correct equipment including RPE/PPE and insurances.

    What is asbestos?

    Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. Asbestos fibres are soft and flexible yet resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion. These qualities make the mineral useful, but they also make asbestos exposure highly toxic.

    What does asbestos look like?

    Asbestos in a mineral fibre that can be found in the ground.

    What are asbestos symptoms?

    In most asbestosis patients, symptoms develop within 20 to 30 years after being exposed to asbestos. If someone is exposed to asbestos for a long time, a decade or more, the latency period of symptom development is shorter: closer to 20 years. The symptoms consist of the following swelling in the neck or face, difficulty swallowing, high blood pressure, blood in sputum, crackling sound when breathing, shortness of breath, hypertension, finger deformity, loss of weight/appetite.

    When asbestos was banned?

    Whilst blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos were banned in 1985, white asbestos (chrysotile) wasn’t banned until 1999; almost 15 years after the initial blue and brown ban. The 1999 ban made it illegal to manufacture and supply any asbestos materials within the UK.

    Where can asbestos be found?

    Asbestos can be found in all types of buildings (built before 1999) used in a multiple of materials. Asbestos can be found in floors, walls, ceilings, voids, garage’s, lofts and boiler rooms. Asbestos can also be found in a number of external locations on all types of buildings.

    How to recognize asbestos?

    There is only one way to know for certain whether your building has asbestos containing materials, and that is by contracting an experienced team of specially trained surveyors to carry out comprehensive tests (surveys) that deliver reliable results.

    Why asbestos is dangerous?

    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. Asbestos can cause the following fatal and serious diseases: Mesothelioma, Asbestos-related lung cancer and Asbestosis.

    What does asbestos look like in walls?

    Asbestos identified in walls may vary depending on the type of asbestos containing material used. The types of materials used are textured coatings, wall cladding (cement and insulation board), plaster, panels.

    When was asbestos first used in the UK?

    Asbestos is thought to be used in the uk as far back as the 1800’s but the first diagnosis of asbestosis was not until early 1900’s.

    How much asbestos exposure is harmful?

    Any exposure to asbestos can be harmful.

    Can asbestos kill you?

    Exposure to asbestos without using the correct control measures can kill you.

    Do you need an asbestos survey? Let us help!

    We have the capability to provide a high quality and efficient service, to locate and identify any suspect hazardous materials. Our service is fast and efficient, backed up by extremely competitive rates. So speak to KD Asbestos first!