Asbestos is a natural mineral that has high fire and heat insulation properties. The material was commonly used in buildings in the UK. But after the harmful effects of asbestos exposure were revealed, the material was banned in the country.
Laws against asbestos were first introduced in the UK in the mid-1980s. The use of amosite asbestos and crocidolite asbestos were banned in 1985. Later, in 1992, some uses of chrysotile asbestos were also banned in the country. In 1999, chrysotile asbestos was banned with no exception. The laws had mandated that disposing of asbestos should only be carried on by licensed asbestos removal contractors.
Here we will look at some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding asbestos removal in the UK.
Q.1. What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined in many places in the world. The material got its name from ‘asbestiform’ that describes the fibrous structure that gives it flexibility and strength. It was used extensively in the past in building materials.
Q. 2. What are the health effects of asbestos exposure?
Exposure to the asbestos-containing material can result in serious health problems. Three common health disorders that are associated with inhalation of asbestos fibres include:
- Asbestosis — A progressive, serious noncancerous lung disease
- Mesothelioma — A rare type of cancer that forms in the chest, heart, abdomen, and thin lining of the lung
- Lung cancer
Harmful health effects of asbestos exposure become apparent in four to five decades. Even short-term exposure can result in harmful health effects. At the present, there is no cure for asbestos related disorders.
Q.3. What UK Laws Concern the Use of Asbestos?
The general regulations regarding the protection of households from asbestos risks are presented in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The owners of domestic properties are responsible to ensure protection against asbestos exposure. However, they are not responsible for any risks to contractors from exposure to the deadly building material.
The employers are also required to prevent asbestos exposure in the workplace. If your employer is not taking any action to control asbestos exposure risk, you can report to the enforcing authority in your area. You can report the incident online in case HSE is the enforcing authority.
Q.4. Is it Important to Contact a Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractor?
Yes. In the UK, only a licensed asbestos removal contractor should be contacted for disposing of asbestos. Asbestos removal is a dangerous job that must be performed safely using the safe and correct procedures. That’s why the removal of asbestos roofing sheets, cement roof sheets, and other asbestos-containing material should only be carried out by a licensed expert.