Asbestos was a material that was widely used within construction and other major industries in the UK for a long period of time. As the towns and cities that we know today took shape in the late 1800s through to post-war Britain, asbestos was extensively used in many different areas. It was a substance that occurred naturally, could be mined in a relatively cost-effective way, and was strong and flexible, which made it useful for things such as insulation and in making asbestos cement.
The use of asbestos was finally banned outright in 1999 in the UK, but up until that point there had been a gradual decline of its use, and a ban of certain elements and certain types of asbestos. This was down to the improvement of scientific knowledge and the realisation that asbestos was dangerous.
It became apparent that asbestos fibres could be incredibly dangerous to any person who inhaled them, but the problem was that it would take many years, decades in most cases, for any symptoms to appear. What this meant is that many people who had worked up close with asbestos in the shipbuilding industry, in construction, and other areas where asbestos was widely used, were becoming fatally ill, years after retirement with illnesses such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.
The gradual ban on asbestos began in the 1970s, when blue asbestos was banned in the early part of the decade. This is now known to be the most dangerous of all the different types of asbestos, with the sharp, fine, jagged fibres becoming lodged in lungs and airways and causing fatalities in the long-term. Next came different bans involving asbestos cement, varnish, artex, insulation boards, and other materials containing asbestos, before the entire ban in 1999.
If you are unsure whether there is asbestos present in your house, and you are in the process of planning for a major redevelopment or refurbishment, it is important that you have the right support. Asbestos fibres can be incredibly dangerous if inhaled, and as you can see above, prior to the total ban on the use of asbestos within construction in the UK, the substance was used extensively in many different areas of a house build.
At Artisan Surveyors we can provide a thorough asbestos testing service that enters your home, locating and analysing all asbestos-containing materials and designating each with an accurate piece of advice. In some cases, we will leave asbestos sealed and in place, not to be touched, in most cases we will conduct a safe and thorough asbestos removal service on your behalf. To find out more please contact us today on 01329 800650