Asbestos Removal Law

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a hazardous fibrous material that has been used in the UK in construction and some other industries throughout the 20th century.  It was mixed with other building materials to make them more durable, more fire resistant and as a good insulator.  Today, it is pretty hard to know if a material contains asbestos without an analysis.  Asbestos is not dangerous for people if it is used properly, but it can release its fibres into the air which can be inhaled by people around asbestos containing materials and when inhaled, it causes serious lung damage and lung diseases.

Why was Asbestos used if it is Dangerous?

This is a question that most people ask, and it is a good question.  Today, it is a known fact that asbestos is extremely dangerous, but this fact was unknown until the 1970's.  Until that time, asbestos was considered to be perfectly safe for people, since it had no visible effects on people's health.  Asbestos containing materials are so dangerous because the fibres that are inhaled can take decades before they actually start causing problems in people's lungs.  However, when they finally have an effect on people, that effect can cause lung cancer.  Asbestos related diseases cannot be cured, and this is the main reason why today asbestos is considered highly dangerous for people.

Laws about Asbestos and Asbestos Removal

When people finally realised that asbestos is a dangerous material, it took more than ten years for asbestos to stop being used in construction.  The main reason for this is the fact that in the 1970's asbestos importing was banned and that law was respected.  However, the ban stated nothing about the use of asbestos containing materials.  Because of this, asbestos containing materials were used for more than ten years, until all types of asbestos and asbestos containing materials were finally banned in 1986.

The extensive use of asbestos containing materials results in over a million buildings in the UK today that contain asbestos.  This means that new problems concerning asbestos have come up since its usage stopped, and these problems are concerned with how to safely remove and dispose of asbestos.  There are four safe types of asbestos removal methods available in the UK:

  • Dry stripping of asbestos
  • Controlled wet stripping of asbestos
  • High pressure water jetting
  • Air management for hot stripping of asbestos.

Any other method for removing asbestos is strictly prohibited in the UK today because the most important things about asbestos removal is the safety of people doing it, and the safety of the people that will live and spend time in the areas afterwards.  This is why laws concerning asbestos removal are very strict and must be obeyed.  Asbestos removal workers have to be fully licensed and well trained, they have to follow strict rules and regulations about asbestos removal, they have to use protective equipment and they have to make sure that asbestos containing materials are taken to a place where these materials can be properly disposed of after being removed from a building.