AV Asbestos have prepared three short articles that are designed to give some background information about asbestos, its dangers, and the law:
What is asbestos? an article that answers the questions: What is asbestos made of? Where does it come from? This also includes a short history of the use of asbestos.
Health and asbestos an article about the commonest adverse effects on human health due to contact with asbestos.
UK law and asbestos an article on the law affecting asbestos containing materials (ACMs). It concentrates on who is a 'duty holder' and what are their responsibilities under UK law regarding asbestos.
In addition, the answers to several FAQs are given below.
This is a list of questions that are frequently asked by people when talking to us. These FAQs have been included to help with background information, however, you are still welcome to call our asbestos helpline on 0845 833 2660 (local-rate number, 09:00 – 17:00) to find out more about asbestos.
Any property built during 1999 or before should thus be inspected for asbestos containing materials (ACMs). There is a statutory obligation to inspect non-domestic buildings under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012).
This also includes the common areas of blocks of flats and also buy-to-let properties that are rented out with the owner retaining responsibility for maintenance. This link gives more on the UK law regarding asbestos.
If you plan to undertake major refurbishment (knocking through walls or ceilings for instance) or demolition, then you will need a demolition or refurbishment survey.
Because management surveys are not required to be destructive and therefore may not give a complete view of the site's ACMs, when planning to undertake demolition or major refurbishment (knocking through walls or ceilings for instance), and there are areas that have not been surveyed, then you will need a refurbishment or demolition survey. Should surveying at this stage prove negative, then any works may be undertaken without worrying about ACMs. This stage may also be an important part of calculating the actual volume of ACMs that require specialist removal and disposal; and therefore their effect on the cost of the project.
Some asbestos will not be in good condition and be of a type that is easily friable (it releases fibres easily). This may have to be removed under strict conditions by a licensed asbestos removal contractor.
If you have any doubt, then a qualified asbestos surveyor will be able to assess the situation for you.