Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used by the construction industry in building materials in the UK until mid-1980. As a guide any building constructed before 2000 could contain asbestos and subsequent demolition and of these buildings and burial of building waste could have resulted in land becoming contaminated with asbestos fibres.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 which came into force 6 April 2012 reinforces the earlier regulations of 2006 which places a requirement on employers to protect their employees from exposure to asbestos. When in doubt about the presence of this contaminate in existing buildings, demolition sites or brownfield sites, assume it exists until testing by an accredited laboratory has shown the samples submitted are free from Asbestos contamination.
Asbestos is the name given to a group of fibrous, naturally occurring, complex silicate minerals, including:
- Chrysotile (White)
- Amosite (Brown)
- Crocidolite (Blue)
It is a class 1 carcinogen, and causes a range of respiratory diseases, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma—often remaining dormant for 15-40 years. The needle shaped fibres can lodge in the lungs but can take some time to cause symptoms.
ELAB provide P401 fully trained technicians to examine and identify all forms of asbestos and indicate the likely levels of operator exposure when handling sample material. The HSE have a dedicate website on this hazardous material at:
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