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Environmental Health


In this section you will find the following information:

Do not try to repair or remove any asbestos materials yourself if you have not had any training for non-licensed asbestos work. For the disposal of asbestos please contact a specialist contractor. A list of specialist contractors is available from the Health & Safety Executive website. 

pdf A short list (5 KB) of Midlands-based contractors has also been provided by Worcestershire Scientific Services.

For further information view the The Control of Asbestos in the Air Regulations 1990 Act.

How do I know if there's asbestos in my home / garden?

There's a possibility that any home that is over 15 years old may contain materials made from asbestos. Here are the common locations where you may find asbestos:

  • Drain pipes (asbestos cement).
  • Soffits, partitions or infill panels (asbestos cement or insulation board.)
  • Shed or garage walls (asbestos cement).
  • Shed or garage roofs (asbestos cement)
  • Bath panel sides (asbestos cement)

If you rent your home, your landlord may have relevant information.

What should I do if I have any in my home?

Generally it's best to leave it alone. Never drill, sand or saw asbestos, and if painting use an alkali resistant paint such as PVA emulsion. Always seek advice before thinking of removing any asbestos, and follow the basic rules when carrying out asbestos cement removal work.

DO NOT attempt to remove asbestos lagging, spray coatings or large areas of insulation board by yourself as these materials can only be removed by a licensed contractor.

How many types are there?

There are three main types which have been used commercially:

  • Crocidolite - commonly known as blue asbestos
  • Amosite - commonly known as brown asbestos
  • Chrysotile - commonly know as white asbestos

Is it really dangerous?

Blue and brown asbestos are significantly more dangerous than white, although if left undisturbed they pose no health risk. However, when asbestos materials are disturbed fibres are released which can become lodged in the lungs where they remain for years. Repeated exposure can lead to asbestos-related disease.