Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that is resistant to acids, alkalis, fire and heat. It also has a high tensile strength and it is a good thermal and electrical insulator. Because of these unique properties it was added to a wide range of building products within the construction industry.
Where has asbestos been used?
Asbestos can be found in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
When asbestos containing materials get damaged the fibres are released in to the air and they enter your body as you breathe. Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to the development of asbestos-related diseases such as:
These diseases are typically associated with repeated long term exposure.
Should I remove asbestos myself?
If in good condition and unlikely to get damaged, it is often best to leave it where it is. Slightly damaged materials that contain asbestos can sometimes be repaired by sealing or enclosing them. The use of trained professionals to repair or remove materials that contain asbestos is encouraged.
Materials such as sprayed asbestos coatings, asbestos lagging / insulation or asbestos insulating board, should only be removed by a contractor licensed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Bonded asbestos products include floor tiles, roof tiles, and cement sheets, flues and gutters. These present less of a risk but must be handled with care.
If you decide to remove asbestos yourself, you should wear the right protective equipment and follow a safe working method to minimise the release of fibres and to reduce the risk of exposure to yourself, your neighbours or members of the public.
Asbestos essentials on HSE's website is a task manual aimed at providing detailed advice and guidance for trades persons working with materials containing asbestos.
Where can I dispose of asbestos waste?
Do not put asbestos in a dustbin. Householders can dispose of bonded asbestos at:
There are charges for disposal of asbestos and limits on quantities you can take. You must pre-book by calling Netley HWRC on 023 8040 3960 in advance. They will confirm costs, if they have capacity to accept the wastes, how much they can accept and how it must be packaged.
Using commercial vehicles to dispose of asbestos
Commercial waste, generated by trades persons, cannot use this facility. Householders using commercial type vehicles to transport asbestos must have a permit to use a waste recycling centre. This is to ensure that only household waste is disposed of at these sites.
The permit is free and can be obtained by visiting www.hants.gov.uk/recycling or by calling Hampshire County Council on 0845 603 5634.