Oh! so you have some questions about Asbestos Northampton | Wellingborough | Rushden | Milton Keynes | Bedford | Cambridge | Norwich | Peterborough | Birmingham

frequently asked Asbestos questions


Asbestos is a general name given to a group of six different minerals made up of fibres and occurring naturally in the environment. 

Asbestos fibres are too small to be seen by the naked eye. They do not dissolve in water or evaporate. They resist heat and fire and cannot be broken down easily by chemicalsor bacteria. 

In the UK and the US, asbestos was used in many commercial products, mostly in the 20th century. Asbestos may still be used in brake linings and roofing shingles.

All asbestos occurs naturally in certain types of rock. Large asbestos deposits are found in several places throughout the world. Asbestos was mined for many years to use in commercial materials. In some countries, asbestos is still mined, processed, and used in many different ways.

We often use the term naturally occurring asbestos (or NOA) for asbestos found in rocks and soil that is not mined to use in commercial products. NOA fibres may be released from rocks or soil into the air, either by routine human activities or natural erosion and weathering.

The two general types of asbestos are chrysotile (fibrous serpentine) and Amosite.

Chrysotile asbestos has long, flexible fibres. This type of asbestos is most commonly used in commercial products. Amosite - Amphibole fibres are brittle and have a rod or needle shape. They were not as common as chrysotile asbestos in commercial products.

Exposure to either type of asbestos increases the chance of developing asbestos-related diseases, but amphibole fibres tend to stay in the lungs longer. Studies have shown that amphibole fibres are more likely than chrysotile asbestos to increase the risk of mesothelioma.

You can be exposed to asbestos by breathing in asbestos fibres. Disturbing rocks, soil, or products containing asbestos can release asbestos fibres into the air. If you breathe these fibres into your lungs, they could remain there for a lifetime. If the asbestos in commercial products is not disturbed, you are unlikely to breathe in fibres and be exposed.
Because asbestos has been used for many years, almost everyone has been exposed to it at some time. But people who worked with asbestos or spent a long time around it will have higher exposure.
Demolition or renovation projects for buildings that contain asbestos products.
Where asbestos is not properly covered up or stored.
Asbestos-containing materials (like insulation, ceiling tiles, or floor tiles) that are falling apart or that crumble easily.
Activities in the house, such as repairs and home improvements, that disturb materials containing asbestos.
Asbestos that comes into the home on shoes, clothes, hair, pet fur, or other objects.
Outdoor air with high asbestos levels that comes into a building through doors, windows, or air vents.

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