FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Asbestos is the name for a group of natural occurring mineral fibres which are strong and both heat and chemically resistant. Due to these properties, asbestos was commonly used in the past as insulation and fire proofing. It was also used as a component in other building materials. There are three main types of asbestos found in the UK – chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos).
Asbestos can be found in any industrial, commercial, public or residential building built or refurbished before the year 2000. Asbestos was widely used in a large variety of construction materials for a number of purposes e.g. flooring, walls, ceiling, roofs, heating systems and equipment. A detailed survey will be required to identify where asbestos is present in your building. An asbestos survey must be carried out by a competent person
The risk associated with exposure to asbestos relates to the possibility that the fibres within the asbestos containing material (ACM) can become released into the air and are then inhaled. Breathing in air containing asbestos fibres can lead to asbestos-related diseases (mainly cancers of the chest and lungs). These diseases will not occur immediately and can take from 15 – 60 years to develop. Note, that as long as asbestos is in good condition and there is no disturbance or damage to the ACM, it will not pose a risk to health as fibres will not be released.
The term ACM stands for asbestos containing material. This abbreviation is used a lot within our industry.
NADIS is a term used for testing asbestos, if the product is NADIS this means there is NO ASBESTOS DETECTED IN SAMPLE.
The word friable or friability means how easily the product breaks or crumbles. In the asbestos industry, this is particularly important as this tells us what precations are needed for certain products and weather they are Non-Licensed or Licensed products, or if it is likely for the product to break during removal. Products that are easily broken and crumble are higher risk products as they have the ability to release a greater amount of fibre's.
Popcorn celling, textured coating, artex all refer to the same product. this is a coating applied to ceilings and walls which did sometimes contain asbestos. The best & first thing to do is to find out if your textured coating even contains asbestos! This can be done by a competent person taking a sample and sending off for analysis or by having a full Management or Refurbishment & Demolition survey carried out.
Carried out in such a way that the exposure of workers to asbestos will not exceed the legal control limit of
0.1 asbestos fibres per cubic centimetre of air (0.1 f/cm3) (averaged over a four hour period).
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