We operate out of Carshalton and will come to your property in Surrey or South London and take a sample of the asbestos in question. We will then have this tested in a UKAS Accredited laboratory and confirm the results. If the test is negative, you will receive a certificate of confirmation which you can then send to the appropriate body. The certificates are fully validated for this purpose. If the test proves to be positive, we can make arrangement for potential removal and disposal.
Asbestos is a natural fibrous rock that can be found naturally in soil and rocks and can be categorised into 3 different types – Crocidolite (blue colour), Amosite (brown colour), and Chrysotile (white colour). Chrysotile is the most common form used in industry.
Chrysotile asbestos fibres are soft, flexible and curved and far less hazardous than the amphibole type. Amphibole fibres (crocidolite -blue asbestos, amosite- brown asbestos, tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite) are brittle fibres and are often rod- or needle-like in appearance. It is this form that is more hazardous to health. Crocidolite was the most commonly used amphibole asbestos in the past.
Asbestos fibres can be released into the atmosphere by abrasion – and these fibres, when inhaled, are hazardous to human health as they can’t be discarded. They float around scratching at the lung tissue, this causes scarring which ultimately makes breathing very difficult and can cause various diseases including serious lung diseases such as asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma.
It is estimated that there are around 2,500 asbestos-related deaths per year in the UK.
It is estimated that as many as 50% of homes built pre-1999 may still contain asbestos. Older homes may still contain Artex, which was still being made with white asbestos up until the mid-1980s.
Asbestos floor and ceiling tiles were also popular throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s, so it’s very likely that older properties that haven’t had any extensive renovation will still contain these materials in your floors or ceilings.
Asbestos was so commonly used because of it’s strength, excellent insulation and fire retardant properties. It can be found in pipe insulation, old boilers, insulation panels in old storage heaters, floor tiles, eaves, gutters, ceilings, doors, garage and shed roofs, rainwater pipes and other products used around the home as well as commercial/public buildings such as hospitals and schools.
However, any new build homes constructed after 1999 should not contain any asbestos materials at all as by then the UK had banned all use of asbestos.
If the material does pose a threat, then remedial treatment will be required, and lending may be conditional on this being carried out. If there is a perception that the value of the property is affected by asbestos, lenders may reduce the amount they would otherwise be willing to lend.
The current asbestos regulations for the UK are covered by The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 – an update to the Health & Safety Executive’s Control of Asbestos at Work 2002 regulations.
These regulations took into account the European Commission’s opinion that the UK had not fully implemented the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos (Directive 2009/148/EC).
For more information on the latest regulations, please visit the Health and Safety Executive.