Asbestos is a naturally occurring material that has been used for about 150 years on a large scale.
Asbestos fibres are versatile and asbestos is ideal as a fire-proofing and insulation material.
The main types of asbestos that have been commercially used are:
All types are dangerous but blue and brown are known to be more dangerous, however you can not identify the type of asbestos just by looking at the colour of it, you need a laboratory to properly identify the different types of asbestos.
Remember it is not always easy to tell if a product contains asbestos as modern asbestos-free materials often look similar to asbestos containing materials.
Asbestos was used in hundreds of different products and buildings from the 1950's to the mid-1980's and Asbestos Cement was used up until 1999 in a variety of different premises and materials. Any building that was constructed or had major refurbishment works between the 1950's and the mid-1980's is likely to contain some type of asbestos containing material. However the use of asbestos peaked between the 1960's and early 1970's so premises built or refurbished around that time are the most likely to contain some form of asbestos. Properties built since the mid-1980's are unlikely to contain asbestos in the fabric of the building and properties built since 1990 are extremely to unlikely to contain asbestos anywhere in the building.
Types of asbestos materials that may be found in the home include:
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 Supplier or the Manufacturer may also be able to tell you if their product contains asbestos.
Remember asbestos-containing products can look very similar to non-asbestos-containing products. If in doubt seek advice.
When asbestos materials become damaged or age, they can release fibres in to the air.
Breathing in asbestos fibres is dangerous. The fibres can be breathed deep in to the lungs, where they stay for a long time and cause possible damage and lung diseases, including cancer.
There is NO known danger associated with ingesting (eating or drinking) asbestos fibres from asbestos cement water supply pipes and/or storage tanks.
However small quantities of Asbestos Cement may be removed safely by yourself providing you follow the precautions below:
Do not dispose of asbestos in the dustbin. The Council is unable to collect or dispose of asbestos, however Surrey County Council does have household waste sites that are able to take small amounts of concrete bonded asbestos and some other hazardous materials from residents. Up to six sheets of asbestos may be taken to one of the three transfer stations. Only cement bonded asbestos is accepted at the sites, for other forms of asbestos a specialist must be contacted for disposal. Look in the yellow pages under 'Asbestos Removals' for asbestos specialists.
Householders can take small amounts of asbestos cement products to:
The Household Waste Recycling Site in Epsom and Ewell (This link will open in a new window), Blenheim Road, Epsom, Surrey, Tel: 01372 728722; or
The Household Waste Recycling Site in Guildford, Moorfield Road, Slyfield, Guildford, Surrey, Tel: 01483 458 439; or
The Household Waste Recycling Site in Spelthorne, Charlton Lane, Sunbury, Surrey, Tel:01932 785 824
For further information please contact Customer Services on 01883 722000 or e-mail email@example.com
Or write to us at:
Tandridge District Council
8 Station Road East
Oxted RH8 0BT
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