Asbestos has a reputation for being a material that is extremely dangerous. That reputation is well deserved – it is responsible for thousands of deaths in the UK every year. But it is also true that this perception of the material can actually contribute to making it more dangerous. To understand this, we need to take a look at where asbestos is typically located in properties, and how people most often come into contact with it.
Where can you find asbestos?
You might assume that due to the fact that asbestos was banned from use in the UK in 1999 that you are unlikely to come across the material. However, this is a misunderstanding. While the use of asbestos was banned, the material had been used in construction with a range of different uses for a long time. This means that there are a huge number of properties that utilised asbestos.
Asbestos can be found in many locations across residential homes and industrial premises. This can be very distressing for individuals to learn, especially if they find that they have asbestos in their home and didn’t realise previously.
Undisturbed asbestos generally is not dangerous
If homeowners discover asbestos in their property it can make them assume that the material is putting them and their family in danger. However, this is a mistake. Generally, if asbestos is in good condition and the material is left undisturbed then it presents no danger. Asbestos is only dangerous when fibres of the material are allowed to become airborne and can be breathed into the lungs.
Unfortunately, if homeowners believe that they are in danger from the asbestos it can lead them to attempt to remove the asbestos themselves to remove the ‘danger’ from their home. However, doing so will almost certainly do more harm than good.
Do not remove asbestos without experience
Moving asbestos means disturbing the material, and unless you have significant experience working with asbestos, this can be very dangerous. In general, it is best to get in contact with asbestos specialists if you become aware of any asbestos in your property. They will be able to advise whether it is even necessary for you to remove the asbestos.
In many cases it will simply be necessary to have a plan in place to monitor the asbestos and ensure it remains in good condition.