"is this asbestos???"
A quick scan of Facebook, Instagram or any other social media platform will show the level and number of enquires regarding suspicious asbestos materials in properties across the UK by many people.
When viewed, the OP will tend to post an image or brief description and asks the eternal question... "is this asbestos?", although not totally impossible to identify asbestos from a photograph, some materials are easily recognisable to the experienced eye, can you truly trust the advice given?
The worry comes from some of the responses. It appears that anyone can post a response, even those who have no knowledge, experience, training or, as seen in some cases, any level of care for the OP. In fact, it looks like anyone who has even heard of the word "asbestos" is willing to offer advice on the image or description presented.
One will note that by far, the most offered response is "get it tested", but just how is this done, and more importantly, how is it done safely?
The OP can of course engage a competent surveyor to come out the their property, take a sample (safely) and submit it for analysis, then, if its a conscientious surveyor, they would most probably offer advice on the findings, but this has a cost, in the region of £80 to £250, possibly more dependent on the number of samples, the materials location and the difficulty of collecting the sample.
NOT the way to do it!!
Some may look to purchase the "self sampling kit", as a cheaper option. We sell these kits, they range from £39.95 upward depending on what is required.
The purchaser needs to bear in mind, if they have a legitimate concern that they have asbestos in their property, is taking a sample of it themselves really what they want to be doing? Should they be wearing a respirator, disposable coveralls, should they be wetting the material, how much of the material is required for a correct analysis? not only could they be wasting money, but also putting themselves and others at risk.
Our "self sample kits" do of course come with very detailed and specific instructions but who truly follows those?
So what should you do?
So is it asbestos?
If you suspect asbestos
Here is some key, easy to follow information:
Presume it is asbestos until proven otherwise.
Limit access to the material if there are any signs of damage or disturbance.
Do Not attempt to clean any suspected asbestos debris or carryout any repairs to the material, seal off the location until the facts are known.
Asbestos was used in the UK in 1000s of materials up until 1999 (2000 for ease). Some were banned as early as 1985, some in 1992 but recognising this is very difficult, even to the trained eye.
Most materials, if not all can only be PROVEN to contain asbestos through a proper level of analysis, there are some way to tell without the analysis, a good surveyor would tell you how, but you can never beat a lab report.
If the material is in a good condition, LEAVE IT ALONE.
If the material is damaged or requires removal, WE STRONGLY ADVISE ENGAGING a reputable, professional company to deal with it. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLEAN UP OR REMOVE ANY ASBESTOS YOURSELF, I know, we've already stated this, but it is important as you may make the situation worse!!
1-11 Compliance group Ltd do not remove asbestos, but we work with 100s of very reputable, competent and insured companies across the UK who do, we will provide you with unbiased and impartial advice on who to use if you contact us
Be aware that any asbestos being disposed of, this includes any PPE (personal Protective Equipment) and RPE, (Respiratory Protective Equipment) used in the task, along with items used to clean up asbestos that cannot be thoroughly cleaned, such as wipes, cloths, contaminated water, etc. MUST BE disposed of as hazardous waste, no matter of quantity. DO NOT PUT HAZARDOUS (asbestos) WASTE IN DOMESTIC WASTE, THIS IS TOTALLY ILLEGAL.
If using a "self sample kit" follow the instructions to the letter. DO NOT take short cuts or miss out any of the instructions.
To us, your safety and that of others is of paramount importance.
Asbestos kills over 5000 people annually in the UK, its time we did everything we can to reduce this.
Call us, that's the best advice we can give. We offer a free advice service. We will help you correctly identify asbestos in your property. We have decades of experience in dealing with asbestos, everything from garden sheds to nuclear power stations.
Above everything else, don't panic. The fact that you are asking the question is commendable, now lets do something about it. Contact Us
Want to know more?
If you'd like to have a better and clearer understanding of asbestos, why not sit one of our online, eLearning courses on asbestos? or visit our FAQs page, we may have been asked before.
If you would like to do this, it will take about 90 minutes, you can do it on your phone, from home, in the car (not while driving), in fact, you can do it wherever you'd like.
To help a little, we are even offering you a discount, not only on the asbestos course, but also our other industry approved health, safety, mental wellbeing, social care, hospitality courses, there's over 160 to choose from.
Just use code "2024" when purchasing. you'll receive a discount of 10% on every course purchased
And if you're not sure, why not try the first module of any of our courses for free. The discount means you can access our Asbestos Awareness' course for only £13.50 (plus VAT, sorry, we have to charge this!!)
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