Asbestos in cement products
Large amounts of asbestos were used in new and refurbished buildings before 2000. Blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos were banned by law in 1985. White (Chrysotile) asbestos had been the only type of asbestos permitted in the UK until manufacture and supply of all asbestos was banned by The Asbestos (Prohibitions) (Amendment) Regulations in 1999.
Amosite and crocidolite are considered the most hazardous asbestos fibre types however, chrysotile is a recognized cause of asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma in humans.
Where do you find asbestos cement?
Asbestos cement is mainly a mixture of chrysotile (white asbestos) and cement, moulded and compressed to produce a range of asbestos cement products. Asbestos cement can be found in many places such as:
Corrugated cement roof sheets, wall cladding, downpipes and gutters, flues, water and sewer pipes and even in cover spacers for reinforcement.
Although asbestos fibres were not incorporated in products after 2000, many products are still in service which need to be handled with care when refurbishment or demolition is undertaken.
For further information see the HSE website Asbestos essentials