Asbestos may be present in any house or building built before the year 2000 as it was widely used in a variety of building materials.
What is it?
Asbestos is the name used for a group of naturally occurring minerals that are used in many products. It is used to strengthen materials and provide fire and chemical resistance. In the production process, asbestos has usually been mixed with other substances to create different asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), but it has also been used on its own.
Who is at risk?
Exposure to asbestos is widespread in society, but data in the UK indicates that the risk of a fatal asbestos related cancer is greatest among people who work in construction and engineering.
These trades encounter asbestos in their work during maintenance, refurbishment or demolition activity. In countries where asbestos is still used, other workers will be exposed, especially those involved in the manufacture, use or installation of products using ACMs.
Asbestos was banned and not used after 1998.
Before starting any DIY
Before starting any DIY work in your home, it is essential that you contact Muir to request permission and for us to check if any DIY is likely to disturb any asbestos in your home.
Controls to prevent exposure
Undisturbed or sealed ACMs that are in good condition and unlikely to be damaged can be left in place.
Damaged ACMs in poor condition should be sealed or removed. Any ACM in good condition or that has been encapsulated should be clearly and adequately labelled.
ACMs must not be disturbed, damaged or removed without strict controls in place that prevent exposure to dust.
Do not work on ACMs unless you are competent, have a safe system of work in place and are licensed to the level required.
If Muir are planning controlled work on ACMs, we avoid specifying the use of power tools such as sanding machines, electric drills or electric saws, as these will generate more dust than the non-electric versions of the tools. Where the use of power tools is unavoidable, we consider ACM removal and replacement by a specialist contractor.
Some minor works may intentionally disturb an ACM. If ACM removal is unreasonable in these circumstances, we ensure that measures are taken to prevent dust getting into the air.
For more information about asbestos, click here: www.muir.org.uk/asbestos-information