Asbestos is not something to be worried about, but you do need to be aware of the risks it could present if it is not safely managed.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for many years in a variety of different building products. Due to its thermal heat retention, sound proofing and fire retardant qualities, asbestos was used in a wide variety of building and construction products. Asbestos can break into microscopic fibres if broken or disturbed and these fibres can be hazardous to health if inhaled.
Asbestos is generally not a problem if the products containing asbestos are in fair/good condition and remain undisturbed. However, if these products are damaged, broken or abraded there is the risk that asbestos fibres may become airborne and could be inhaled.
How likely is it to be in my home?
Asbestos was effectively banned in the United Kingdom in 1999 and is therefore not going to be found in modern buildings constructed after 1999 or in modern building products used in the UK.
There is a possibility that products containing asbestos may be in homes constructed before the year 2000. If your home was constructed before the year 2000 you must be aware of its potential presence in your home.
Where might asbestos be found in your home?
Asbestos was used extensively in a large number of building products.
More information can be found in our home safety guide here.
What are the health risks?
Exposure to asbestos, mainly from inhaling asbestos dust, can potentially result in fatal lung diseases such as Asbestosis, Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma.
The majority of these diseases are generally associated with individuals who have received heavy and occupational exposure to asbestos. However, there is still risk associated with low and sporadic exposure to the material so we must remain vigilant and take some common sense measures to minimise our risk of inhaling the fibres.
What to do?
If you suspect you may have disturbed asbestos or have found a suspected asbestos product and are worried that dust may be released, please leave the room where the suspect material was found, close the door to that room and contact us.
We will discuss and assess the situation with you and agree the best course of action.
What we will do
We will discuss and assess your concerns and will act accordingly. We may have records indicating where asbestos may be present within your property and can put your mind at rest or we may need to send specialists to your home to carry out further investigations to determine the best course of action. Rest assured it is our intention to keep the risk associated with asbestos in our properties to an absolute minimum.
We are working to fully identify the presence of asbestos in our properties and to minimise the risk to our tenants arising from its presence. This is an on-going programme of survey and inspections works and you may at some point in the future be asked to allow our specialist surveyors to enter your home to undertake precautionary asbestos inspection works.
However, asbestos has been used so extensively that its complete removal is impracticable to achieve in the short term and so we must put our efforts into safely managing asbestos in our properties.
What are your responsibilities?
As a resident you will be aware that you must not undertake any significant building related works on your property without first confirming with us that it is acceptable and safe to proceed. Aggressive building works are a likely potential source of disturbance of asbestos products so we must be cautious when planning and undertaking such works.
If you have any concerns regarding asbestos or if you think you may have disturbed asbestos in your home, please contact us.