Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be used in many different areas in people's homes.
Many homes built before 1980 contain asbestos in old floors tiles, ceiling tiles, roof shingles and flashing siding, insulation ( around boilers, ducts, pipes, sheeting, fireplaces ), pipe cements, and joint compound used on seams between pieces of sheetrock. Some newer houses may also contain asbestoc.
If floor tiles were installed between 1920 and 1960, there's a good chance they contain asbestos because most flooring tiles manufactured during this period did. If tiles were installed between 1960 and 1980, there's a slight chance they contain asbestos. The flooring tiles are 9inch, 12inch or 18inch squares. Until the mid 1980s the Artex coating was made with white asbestos to strengthen it.
Microscopic asbestos fibre cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, and it is unsafe to sniff a substance suspected of being asbestos. To detect asbestos a sample of questionable material must be sent to a lab for testing.
When someone inhales or ingests asbestos dust the mineral fibre can become forever trapped in their body.
Over decades trapped asbestos fibre can cause inflammation, scarring and eventually genetic damage to the body's cells. A rare and aggressive cancer called mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure, Asbestos also causes other forms of cancer as well as progressive lung disease.
If you think that you have found asbestos in your home, don’t touch it. Asbestos is a risk in the home when it is disturbed in a way that produces dust that contains asbestos fibres.
Although householders are legally entitled to carry out asbestos removal, we DO NOT recommend this practice.
Asbestos waste needs to be disposed of at a site that has been approved by your local council as soon as possible. Each council sets its own rules on if and how it receives asbestos waste.
Contact your local council to find out where you can dispose of asbestos waste, any conditions for disposal (e.g. time of day, maximum amount at one time) and how much it will cost.
You can also use a licensed waste removal company to collect and remove asbestos waste for you.
A licensed haulier will dispose of your asbestos at a licensed site that will provide you with a consignment note after the asbestos is disposed of.