Homeowners are responsible for any asbestos in their homes. If you know that you have asbestos in your home and are planning some home improvements or maintenance, you must inform builders, contractors etc. before they start work.

Asbestos is dangerous when fibres are released:

Even minor damage can produce many fibres e.g. drilling a hole to hang a picture. Damage can also be done by wall scrapers, or rubbing down asbestos panels or Artex with sandpaper. Cutting asbestos with electrical tools and smashing asbestos products with a hammer are extremely dangerous and must be avoided at all costs.

Asbestos was used to resist heat and for fire protection in building materials and consumer goods. The commercial use of asbestos began around the end of the nineteenth century due to its fire resisting properties. Large quantities were used between 1950 and the early 1970s, particularly in system built housing. Asbestos use has been gradually withdrawn since 1969 until 1999 when it was banned.

Asbestos can be found in a wide variety of products in the home:

There can be a wide variety of products in the home that contain asbestos:

Breathing in asbestos fibres can lead to people developing one of three fatal diseases:

What you should do:

If the asbestos is in good condition, not likely to be damaged and not likely to be worked on, leave it in place, as this is the safest course of action. In good condition asbestos poses minimal risks.

You can paint Asbestos materials to prevent any dust from escaping. Use emulsion paint for insulating board but use an alkali-resistant primer or coating for asbestos cement products.

Do not rub down asbestos material before painting

If the asbestos is in poor condition e.g.

You need to decide whether to repair, reseal, enclose or remove it. If unsure seek specialist advice.

If you have asbestos that has been sprayed, asbestos lagging or insulating boards in your home this must only be removed by a licensed asbestos contractor. Asbestos cement can be removed by non licensed contractors, provided appropriate precautions are taken.

You can dispose of small amounts of asbestos at Brackmills Transfer Station.

Northampton Waste Transfer Station
Liliput Road
Brackmills Industrial Estate
NN4 70T
Tel: 0121 333 2118

Other licensed sites can offer a quotation for disposal of larger amounts or bonded asbestos. There are also companies who offer a collection service for asbestos.

Contact details

Commercial and Business Support Team
Email this service
01327 322323

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