What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally forming mineral, which was commercially mined for its useful properties such as:
- Chemical resistance
- Heat resistance
- Low thermal conductivity
- High tensile strength.
According to the Health & Safety Executive, asbestos is responsible for more workplace deaths each year than any other cause. Diseases caused by inhaling asbestos fibres include lung cancer and mesothelioma. There is often a latency period of up to 40 years before any symptoms are shown, so exposure may not be apparent until much later. The import and use of asbestos has been banned since 1999 in the UK.
Read about common materials which can contain asbestos.
There are six types of asbestos which are banned from use in the UK.