The Three Types of Asbestos and Where They Might be Present
As many as 5000 deaths per year are the result of past asbestos exposure and although asbestos is now banned in the UK can still be found in certain environments. If any building work you plan to undertake has even the slightest chance of disturbing the asbestos, you must be aware with the risks and willing to deal with them through proper asbestos removal.
What are the Different Types of Asbestos?
The term asbestos refers to six unique minerals that belong to two mineral families, these are serpentine and amphibole. All forms of asbestos are highly toxic so although some are more harmful than others, all of them should be taken extremely seriously.
The Three Main Types:
– Chrysotile: Also known as white asbestos, Chrysotile is the most commonly used type of asbestos. The fibres are fine and highly flexible as well as heat resistant. This makes it ideal for use in cement, brake pads and roofing materials, so this is often where you will find it.
– Amosite: This is also known as brown asbestos. Amosite is a material mined mostly in Africa. It is a strong heat resistant material that was often used in cement sheet and plumbing and electrical insulation. Whilst all asbestos is toxic, amosite poses an extremely high cancer risk.
– Crocidolite: This is also known as blue asbestos. It has very thin fibres and if they are inhaled, they can easily lodge in the lungs. Because it has such thing fibres and a brittle nature it is one of the most harmful forms of asbestos.
Why You Need to Get Them Removed
Asbestos can be extremely harmful and should not be underestimated. When you are thinking about buying a property you should get an asbestos survey conducted, to see whether there is any asbestos present and to give you an idea of what it will cost to have it removed. If you already live in a house that was built before 2000, and you are thinking about conducting any building or renovation work you should also have an asbestos survey conducted, and then follow it up with asbestos removal if there is any chance the material is going to be disturbed as part of your works.