Asbestos

image: Asbestos roof

Asbestos is a material that was commonly used in properties built before 2000. It was popular as it's strong and resistant qualities made it a great protective layer for building materials and household products.

Asbestos needs to be treated with care as it's extremely harmful to humans.
 

Why was asbestos banned?

Asbestos contains materials known as asbestos fibres. When asbestos materials age or become damaged, they can release fibres into the air.

If these fibres are breathed into the lungs, this could result in asbestos related diseases. It’s extremely unlikely the levels of asbestos fibres found in your home will be harmful. It’s not a risk to health unless it becomes damaged or disturbed.
 

Where is asbestos found?

Building materials containing asbestos started being used in the early 1900s. They were widely used between the 1960s and 1980s.

Houses and flats built or refurbished around this time may contain asbestos. All asbestos building products were banned in 1999.


Asbestos may be found in:
  • „„Insulating board (such as pipe ducts, partition walls, fire doors)Fire break walls in lofts
  • Soffit boards (on the exterior of buildings)
  • Asbestos cement products, particularly found as corrugated roofing on garages and sheds
  • Older water tanks
  • Older fire safety items (particularly older fire blankets)
  • Textured paints and plasters (artex) on walls and ceilings
  • Roofing materials (roofing felts and tiles)
  • „Heating appliances (storage heaters)
  • Boiler flues
  • „„Some older plastic and vinyl floor tiles (from the 1960s and 1970s)
  • Older ceiling tiles
  • Rainwater down pipes (from the 1960s and 1970s)
  • „„Pads on the underside of kitchen sinks.
If you’ve got older items such as these in your home, you’re strongly advised to replace them with new or newer items (e.g. items less than 12 years old). Since 1999 the use of asbestos has been banned in the UK.
 

How can you identify asbestos?

image: Asbestos photoIt’s not always easy to identify asbestos.

One of the main uses for asbestos was for boxing-in (e.g. older bath panels) and for cladding (e.g. shed roofs). It was most widely used in flat or corrugated sheet form and in tube form (for flues). Asbestos may look like a
grey, cement-like material. The only positive way to identify asbestos is a laboratory test.
 

Who has information on asbestos?

We hold records of where any asbestos has been found and where suspected asbestos may be located. We’ll continue to update these records as more information becomes available.
 

Who to talk to

If you have any concerns or questions regarding asbestos, or you believe asbestos may be in your home, please contact us:

Contact Us

Asbestos policy statement:

We recognise the potential risk associated with asbestos. We acknowledge our responsibility (as is reasonably practicable) to reduce the exposure to asbestos of our employees, residents, contractors and other people affected by our activities.

Our policy reflects the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and Health and Safety Executive’s recommendations. The key recommendation is to leave asbestos in position unless:
  • It’s in an unsatisfactory condition
  • Subject to frequent disturbance
  • It’s where it can be removed as part of property repair or improvement.
We don’t need to remove all asbestos from our properties in the short term. We’re continually identifying and recording the locations of asbestos. We’ll use risk assessments to prioritise its management or removal.