Asbestos - Information and Advice
Asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occuring fibrous minerals. It was widely used due to its resistance to heat and most chemicals and its ability to be woven.
Asbestos was used widely in products such as ceiling and floor tiles, paper and cement products, textured coatings and textiles.
There are three main types of asbestos:
Chrysolite (white asbestos) - This is the most commonly occurring type of asbestos. It is typically found in vinyl floor tiles, cement used to make roof tiles/sheets, pipe lagging, ceiling tiles and many other applications.
Amosite (brown asbestos) - was used in some pipe lagging, roof tiles/sheets and as a spray coating on structural steelwork.
Crocidolite (blue asbestos) - used for pipe insulation and lagging, industrial ovens and steam pipes
Asbestos containing materials may be present if the building was constructed or refurbished before blue and brown asbestos were banned in 1985. In some cases asbestos containing materials, such as asbestos cement, were used up until 1999. Asbestos was extensively used as a building material in the UK from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s. It was used for a variety of purposes and was ideal for fireproofing and insulation. Any building built before 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals etc) can contain asbestos. Asbestos materials in good condition are safe unless asbestos fibres become airborne, which happens when materials are damaged.
When asbestos-containing materials are damaged or deteriorate with age they can release fibres into the air. The shape and size of asbestos fibres enables them to penetrate deep into the lungs, which can result in serious conditions such as asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma. As a general rule, it is always best to leave asbestos alone as it is usually safe unless dmaaged or disturbed.
Always seek advice before removing suspected asbestos material. The Health and Safety Executive can provide information, alternatively a trained professional will be able to help.
Ribble Valley Borough Council does not offer an asbestos survey or removal service. It is possible to remove small amounts of "asbestos containing cement products" yourself, however, do not attempt to remove asbestos lagging, spray coatings or large areas of insulation board by yourself as these materials can only be safely removed by a licensed contractor.
If carrying out removal of "asbestos containing cement products" removal (i.e. roof tiles / sheets) follow these basic rules:-
Plan what you are going to do - ensure the asbestos cement material is handled as little as possible
Prepare the work area - remove items of furniture / objects which are not necessary, cover the floor and surfaces with disposal polythene sheeting
Wear protective clothing - disposal overall with hood, disposable paper face mask and rubber or disposable gloves.
Dampen the area - dampen down the area to reduce the amount of asbestos fibres which get into the air
Remove the asbestos without breaking it up - double rap and seal with tape. The red bags are available form the Henthorn Waste Centre, Clitheroe
Inspect the area - Clear up any debris by hand wiping down surfaces with disposable damp cloths. Don't use a vacuum cleaner as this will spread the dust around
Disposal of protective sheeting / clothing - carefully remove all sheeting and clothing, place in bags and seal with tape and mark on asbestos waste
Wash Hands and Face
If you decide to transport asbestos cement waste in your vehcile please take the following steps to ensure that asbestos do not contaminate your car:
Spray sheets of asbestos cement with water
Double bag the asbestos cement with heavy duty polythene
Ensure the wrapping is secured with tape
Make sure vehicle occupants do not have access to asbestos waste
For further information on asbestos please visit -