What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring, fibrous mineral. It was used extensively in the UK from the 1900s. Unfortunately, although the banning of asbestos began in 1985, it can still be found today in buildings such as schools, hospitals and non-domestic and domestic dwellings.


Due to the versatility, asbestos was mixed with other materials and moulded into many forms, including sheeting and cloth. This makes it difficult to identify and you may come across it in your work. Asbestos does not pose an immediate threat providing it is not disturbed.


Many people have been exposed to asbestos fibres through their own work or through secondary exposure through the work of colleagues, washing a family member’s contaminated clothing or living near to an asbestos factory. The exposure is likely to have taken place many decades ago. Not everyone who has been exposed to asbestos will develop an asbestos-related condition. However, for those people who do, it is important that they receive independent and impartial advice from specialists.

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