What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring mineral fibres that are incredibly strong and resistant to heat and chemicals. Due to its durability, versatility and heat resistant properties, it became a popular ingredient for making a wide variety of building materials from the turn of the 20th century. The mineral falls into two categories; Amphibole and Serpentine. Amphibole asbestos fibres tend to be a brown, blue or grey colour. Serpentine asbestos fibre is also known as Chrysotile or ‘white asbestos’. However, when mixed with other building materials such as cement, it can be impossible to tell if a building material contains the mineral, and which type, without having it professionally tested.

The use of this deadly mineral was outlawed completely in 1999. Therefore, if your building was constructed before 2000, it is likely it contains some building products that contain the toxic mineral. If you are worried about the presence of asbestos in your residential or commercial property, then please do not hesitate to contact us for professional advice. 

Identifying Asbestos

Identifying asbestos is difficult because the fibres are minuscule. In addition, as the mineral was often mixed with other materials, it is impossible to identify the type through the naked eye. The only way to identify it is to have a survey conducted by professionals; with any suspected material tested in a UKAS accredited laboratory. 

If you are unsure if a material contains ACMs (asbestos-containing materials) then you should assume it does, unless proven otherwise (via testing). Before its ban in 1999, it was regularly used to manufacture building materials and other products until it was discovered that it posed a major health risk.

Common places where asbestos can be found includes insulated pipe, textured ceilings, insulation board, roof tiles, vinyl floor tiles and fibrous insulation material.

If you are based in Dorset, Hampshire or Wiltshire and are concerned about the presence of ACMs, then call our technicians as soon as possible. A huge number of residential and commercial buildings still contain asbestos throughout the UK, so we encourage you to be vigilant and speak to a professional and arrange testing when necessary.

Where Is Asbestos Found?

Asbestos was regularly used in the building and construction industry up until it was completely banned. Before this, it was legal for it to be used in insulation, boilers, roofing materials and even products such as hairdryers. It can also be found present in the following:

If you planning a demolition, renovation, extension or any other building work on an older property which may contain hazardous materials, then we strongly advise booking a survey before any work commences to maximise the safety of residents, employees, contractors and visitors.

Is It dangerous?

If the material is out of reach and free from the risk of being disturbed, then in many cases it is better to leave it alone or have it encapsulated. Health issues arise when the fibres are disturbed, leading them to be touched, ingested or inhaled. If you are planning on refurbishing the property then you should seek professional advice as to whether the material needs to be removed and disposed of before any work can commence.

As a general rule of thumb, if you have found or suspect ACMs, then we always recommend seeking professional advice to safeguard occupants and future contractors. 

Types Of Asbestos

The mineral is grouped into two categories; Amphibole, and Serpentine. Serpentine asbestos fibre is famous for its white colour and is widely known as ‘white asbestos’. Amphibole asbestos fibres are brown, blue or grey in colour and include Crocidolite, Amosite, Anthophyllite, Tremolite and Actinolite.

Each type is toxic and can increase the risk of severe or even terminal diseases. However, three types are commonly found within building materials: white (Chrysotile), brown (Amosite) and blue (Crocidolite).

If you need assistance with identifying materials that may contain ACMs, please contact us for quality solutions and advice.

Dangers Of Asbestos

Asbestos is a silicate mineral that is graded as a class 1 carcinogenic, so it can cause a variety of cancers if ingested or inhaled. This is because the body does not have the ability to metabolise or expel the toxic mineral. Over time, the fibres which enter the body can cause genetic changes in the cells, as well as inflammation, which can lead to cancer. The four types of cancer that can occur from exposure include:

Asbestos Testing Near Me

If you are concerned you have asbestos in your building, please contact us to arrange a free quote. We provide thorough, professional testing and analysis, as well as a flexible service and fast response. So, why not give us a call now? We are based in Dorset and offer our service to the surrounding areas, including Hampshire and Wiltshire.