What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral, used for its strong and incombustible properties. Due to its thermal stability and high heat resistance, this durable material was widely used in the past for the fireproofing and insulation of buildings.

Asbestos is no longer allowed due to health risks as it can pollute air or water. Loose silica dust, when inhaled or swallowed, has the potential to cause chronic lung disease including asbestosis, mesothelioma and cancer.

According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), asbestos is the greatest single cause of work related deaths in the UK. It is likely that up to 1.5 million commercial, industrial and public buildings in the UK contain asbestos materials.

Asbestos was used in hundreds of different products and buildings from the 1950s to the mid 1980s. Asbestos cement was used up until 1999 in a variety of different premises and materials.



Any building either commercial or industrial that was constructed or had major refurbishment between the 1950s and mid 1980s is likely to contain some type of asbestos containing material.


Use of asbestos peaked in the 1960s and early 1970s – premises built or refurbished during this time are the most likely to contain some form of asbestos.

Three main types of asbestos were commercially mined for their useful properties:

  • Crocidolite (blue)
  • Amosite (brown)
  • Chrysotile (white)

Asbestos contains properties that enable it to be mixed with other materials such as cement and take the form of a number of products including:


  • Asbestos Insulation Board (AIB) – Ceiling and wall panels
  • Sprayed coatings
  • Fire protection to steelworks

Need asbestos removing quickly?

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0844 391 6750 / 07411 798 763


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