Asbestos Removal

Asbestos Removal Specialists

Asbestos Removal: Asbestos is one of the scariest and most dangerous materials that we can ever find in our homes. Asbestos is a mineral which is made up of millions of very tiny fibres. The problem with these fibres is that they are so small they can easily become airborne.

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As many people in the UK will be aware, exposure to asbestos dust is associated with a range of lung conditions which can be fatal. As such, the removal of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) must be done properly to avoid contaminating the area from which it is being removed, and to avoid unnecessary exposure to those in the area. This means that asbestos removal is a very skilled operation.

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If the fibres are inhaled then they can cause many health complaints, many of which are ultimately fatal. If anyone is exposed to a high amount of asbestos fibres in the air then there is a much bigger risk that this person will develop cancer or other related conditions. Asbestos is seen as a very dangerous substance, and although there have been no safe thresholds identified, it is very important to avoid all contact with it where possible.

When removing asbestos the main thing to remember is that health effects are only associated with breathing in the dust. Therefore, any activities which generate dust need to be eliminated. A good example is the use of power tools on ACMs.

Sometimes if asbestos is not disturbed then it will cause no harm to you or your family. However if you do have asbestos then it is important to get it seen to as quickly as possible.

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If you have any asbestos anywhere in your home, or suspect that you might then it's important to hire a professional asbestos removal company. Although asbestos in good condition poses very little concern, if it is left to deteriorate and become dust then this will be potentially fatal. Asbestos was a very popular material for insulating homes in the UK right up until the mid 1980's, which means a large proportion of homes potentially have asbestos. Asbestos was used for a number of different things, including insulation, floor tiles, and in various other building materials.

Therefore when you are selecting an asbestos removal specialist in the UK you need to be confident that it will be done in a manner which reduces or eliminates the creation of dust. Asbestos removal activities are regulated in many jurisdictions; however if you happen to be in an area where it isn't, or if you are planning to do a removal for yourself, then the following 10 points should be helpful:

  • ACMs in which the asbestos is tightly bound within a bonding matrix present a lower risk during removal as it more difficult to create asbestos dusts (e.g. asbestos cement products or vinyl floor tiles).
  • The appropriate personal protective equipment must always be worn. As a minimum, this must include a particulate respirator and protective coveralls.
  • The removal area must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated once the removal is complete. This will involve the use of either an appropriate vacuum cleaner (which must be fitted with a High Efficiency Particulate A filter - domestic vacuum cleaners should never be used) or wet rags to wipe up dusts.
  • Upon removal, ACMs should be wrapped in plastic and disposed of appropriately. Many jurisdictions have laws governing the disposal of ACMs.
  • ACMs in which the asbestos is not bonded within a matrix present a much higher risk (e.g. lagging/insulation around pipe work). Removal work involving unbonded ACM is often conducted inside custom built plastic enclosures.
  • Wherever possible, and if it is safe to do so, ACM should be wetted down during the removal process.
  • Never allow others in the area where the asbestos removal is taking place.
  • Plastic sheeting should be used to cover all surfaces which could potentially become contaminated.
  • The ACM should be removed in a manner which creates the least amount of damage (e.g. when removing asbestos cement sheeting try to remove the sheets in one piece).
  • As stated above, the use of power tools should be avoided. Grinding an asbestos cement sheet has been shown to generate extremely high concentrations of asbestos containing dust.
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Always comply with your local health and safety regulations.

In certain health conditions, stopping exposure to a harmful substance and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help reverse the harmful effects. However, this doesn't apply with asbestos. When you're exposed to the toxic fibres, the harmful effects may take 10 to 30 years before they appear, even if you actually ceased exposure to the fibres.

Never take chances with your life or somebody else's. It is easy to think you are not because the effects of asbestos are rarely immediate. However, that does not mean they are any less deadly. In fact, the effects of asbestos can result in something far worse than immediate death or injury, because asbestos can cause long and painful consequences. So if you suspect asbestos removal is necessary, hire someone who knows what they are doing. Hire asbestos specialists in the UK.

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Diseases Caused by Asbestos

Some of the most common diseases that are caused by asbestos exposure can include things like:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Asbestosis

Mesothelioma is an extremely rare type of cancer that only seems to affect people that have been exposed to asbestos. It is almost always fatal.

Asbestosis is where the fibres from the asbestos have cause scarring to the lungs, making them much less efficient.

Typical Uses of Asbestos in the UK

From the 1950s right through to the 1980s, asbestos was used as a key construction material. At home you might locate asbestos in the following typical areas:

  • Fire blankets
  • Linings for doors, ceilings and walls.
  • Floor tiles.
  • Flues for central heating.
  • Storage heaters (usually within the insulation panels).
  • Shed roofs and garages.
  • Bath panels.
  • Rain water fall pipes, eaves and gutters.
  • Loose asbestos packing between party walls and floors.

Asbestos removal services and asbestos surveys are available to homes and businesses in UK itself and also in surrounding villages and towns such as Sheffield, Swansea, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, Wales, Belfast, Edinburgh, London, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, England, Birmingham, Scotland, Northern Ireland. Locally based UK asbestos removal specialists will most likely have the postcode UK and the dialling code 044. Verifying this should ensure you access local providers of asbestos removal. UK home and business owners are able to utilise these and countless other related services.

Types of Asbestos

Types of Asbestos Mineral

Regularly used in both the construction and manufacturing industries from the latter part of the nineteenth century until it was banned in Great Britain in 1999, asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material which is found on every continent of the world. In all there are 6 different kinds of asbestos, and all are minerals part of the amphibole and serpentine groups, namely - chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite.

It's somewhat beyond the scope of this brief article to consider all but the 3 main types - chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite.

Chrysotile (White Asbestos) - The most commonly used form of asbestos was chrysotile asbestos, also known as white asbestos. This is still frequently found in the floors, ceilings, roofs, insulation and walls of UK homes and buildings. It was also used in the production of boiler seals, brake linings, pipe & duct insulation and gaskets.

Crocidolite (Blue Asbestos) - Used in the manufacture of plastics, pipe insulation, cement products and spray-on coatings, and also for insulating steam engines, crocidolite (also called blue asbestos) is considered the most dangerous type of asbestos. It is part of the Amphibole family of silicate minerals.

Amosite (Brown Asbestos or Grunerite) - Part of the Amphibole family of silicate minerals, Amosite (or brown asbestos), was primarily mined in South Africa and was often used in the manufacture of vinyl tiles, insulating board, thermal insulation products, cement sheets, pipe insulation and roofing materials.

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Construction Products That Could Contain Asbestos

  • Floor Tiles
  • Composites (Window Sills, Bath Panels and Toilet Cisterns)
  • Boiler Lagging
  • Spray Coatings on Beams, Walls, Columns and Ceilings
  • Gaskets and Rope Seals (Especially on Old Hot Water Boilers)
  • Asbestos Cement Products (Roof Sheets, Downpipes and Cladding)
  • Roofing Felt (Especially on Garages and Outbuildings)
  • Asbestos Insulation Boards (AIB) (Panels in Fire Doors, Ceiling Tiles and Partition Walls
  • Textured Coatings (Older Forms of Artex and Polytex)
  • Textiles (Fire Blankets, Protective Overalls and Heat-Resistent Gloves)

Asbestos Removal Tasks UK

Asbestos removal experts should be able to help with asbestos gutter removal UK, asbestos removal UK, asbestos floor tile removal, asbestos risk assessments UK, asbestos abatement UK, soft-strip demolition, fly tipping clearance, Artex removal, garage asbestos removal UK, asbestos garage removal in the UK, soft stripping, the removal of asbestos popcorn ceilings, residential asbestos survey, corrugated asbestos removal, asbestos insulation removal, unsafe asbestos removal UK, asbestos testing, asbestos flue removal, the identification of asbestos containing materials UK, asbestos van collection, asbestos encapsulation, environmental cleaning, asbestos disposal, asbestos surveying in the UK, asbestos inspections in the UK, asbestos air testing, asbestos ceiling removal, asbestos removal prices, residential asbestos removal UK, asbestos waste collection, lead paint testing, asbestos roof tile removal, and other hazardous waste related jobs. These are just a selection of the tasks that are conducted by those specialising in asbestos removal. UK specialists will be happy to tell you about their full range of services.

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(This asbestos removal UK article was updated on 12-05-2023)