Asbestos: (The name asbestos originates from a Greek word & means; indestructible / inextinguishable.)
Asbestos is six naturally occurring fibrous minerals found in certain types of rock formations. The three most commonly used in building products are:
– White (chrysotile)
– Brown (amosite)
– Blue (crocidolite)
When mined and processed, asbestos separates into tiny fibres. The fibres are mixed with materials that bind them together producing asbestos containing materials. (ACM)
Asbestos was used in many different products due to its extreme strength, yet flexible & insulating features of the fibres and their resistance to fire and corrosion.
The strong fibres are 50 to 200 times thinner than a human hair, can float in the air for a long time and can be invisible to the naked eye.
In the past when asbestos was mined from the ground and manufactured into many different materials it was very commonly used in the building industry between 1940-late 1980’s, as the materials were light, cheap, durable & fire retardant.
Asbestos products were regularly used in the construction of:
The use of all forms of asbestos was banned on 31st December 2003. However, the ban does not apply to asbestos materials in houses prior to this date.
There are 2 types of asbestos: friable or non-friable – Friable: when dry can be crumbled and fibres are released into the air – Non-friable: when dry cannot be crumbled
Living or working in a building containing asbestos is not dangerous provided the asbestos is in good condition – undamaged, undisturbed.
However, it can become hazardous if; – Damage – Disturbance – Or deterioration over time
If the above happens, fibres are released into the air and can become extremely HAZARDOUS as they may be inhaled.
In excess of 3000 products were found to contain asbestos.