While asbestos has been ruled as a dangerous material since 1985 when brown and blue asbestos was banned as it was found to have links to mesothelioma, asbestos is still a material than can be commonly found in many buildings today. Unless the asbestos is removed by an expert, it may lie, untouched or undamaged for any number of years.
The real danger is when asbestos is accidentally disturbed, either through general wear and tear on the building, or it is uncovered during building and renovation works. Asbestos fibres are harmful and even fatal in the long term, so it is essential that if any asbestos-containing materials are found on a site, office, or even a school, it is reported immediately.
The Illegal Dumping of Asbestos
As asbestos is incredibly harmful if disturbed, it must be officially removed, transported and disposed of by a trained professional. Some people would rather cut these costs by attempting to remove the asbestos themselves and then dump it illegally, either at nearby fly-tipping locations or – in extreme situations – nearby schools or beaches.
In fact, earlier this year asbestos was illegally dumped mere metres away from a Northern Ireland primary school, in among bundles of refuse and waste that was to be used for bonfire material. If the asbestos had not been noticed, it would have been set on fire, releasing toxic fumes that could have been inhaled by countless local families and school children living and working in the area.
Even with such examples, it is clear to see why the lawful and legal removal of asbestos is extremely important, for the safety of all involved.
The three main types of asbestos commonly used in construction before 1980 are white, blue and brown. While it is hard to tell whether or not asbestos is present in particular materials just by looking at them, there are materials which were commonly made using asbestos, which can be easily identified. This includes vinyl flooring, textured ceilings, cement roof lining and gutters, flue pipes and other similar construction materials.
If you see any of these lying around, particularly near residential areas and areas such as parks and schools, it is important that they are reported as soon as possible. If asbestos is left undisturbed, it is practically harmless, but leaving potentially fatal materials just lying around is incredibly hazardous and should be reported immediately.
What to do if you See or Suspect Dumped Asbestos
The council relies on members of the general public to report incidents such as in addition to any other activities deemed potentially harmful to the environment. Whether your suspicions are founded or not, it is always best practice to report asbestos dumping to your local council, so that they can take adequate measures to remove the offending materials in a safe and professional manner.
However, if you suspect that asbestos is present in your home or workplace, you may need to get in touch with a professional removalist who can advise you accordingly. If the asbestos is undisturbed, but you feel as if removal is necessary, Crucial Environmental can provide expert advice and assistance on the best course of action for your home or workplace. Get in touch with our team today and see how we can help.