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Where to find Asbestos

Where might asbestos be lurking:

  • Fireplaces

  • Fuse boxes

  • Vinyl floor tiles

  • Artex ceilings

  • Bath panels

  • Ironing boards

  • Talcum powder

  • Oven gloves

  • Filing cabinets

  • Caravans

  • Car brakes and clutches

Workplaces where people were commonly exposed to asbestos:

  • Railway works

  • Ship yards

  • Steel works

  • Foundries

  • Farmyards

  • Power stations

  • Telephone exchanges

  • Houses

  • Schools

What to do if you find asbestos

Refer to your local council waste disposal site for portable objects. Usually they will ask for it to be double wrapped in plastic.

If you suspect asbestos in a residential building, generally it is only a risk if you disturb or damage it and cause fibres to be released into the air. If asbestos containing materials are in good condition and in a position where they are not going to be disturbed or damaged then it may be safer to leave them where they are and ensure that any risks are properly managed. Seek professional advice if it needs to be moved – contact the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for a list of licensed contractors. The HSE also have a section on their website dedicated to dealing with asbestos.

Public buildings such as schools should have an Asbestos Survey and Register, showing where asbestos is and what condition it is in. This should have ideally been carried out in the last five years and should be updated annually. If the asbestos is damaged, the room should be evacuated and locked if possible. The damage should be reported immediately. Only trained and authorised people should enter the room.

For more information, see the Heritage Book

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