Asbestos is a natural mineral. For many years it was widely used in construction such as in sheet form and as a sprayed coating. It was also used in household items.

Many people have concerns about the health effects of asbestos but if left undisturbed it is not dangerous. 

Problems with asbestos occur when it is:

  • damaged
  • being cut or drilled
  • necessary to dispose of the material

Find out more about how to spot asbestos on the Health and Safety Executive website.

Asbestos in your home

If you think you have asbestos in your home and it is in good condition and unlikely to become damaged it is safe to leave it where it is.

You should not screw into, drill or sand asbestos material.

Removing asbestos

If you need to remove the asbestos material you must take special precautions to make sure that asbestos fibres are not released into the air during the work.

Asbestos containing material is classed as hazardous waste and must be disposed of safely.

Some types of asbestos material are more hazardous than asbestos cement such as sprayed asbestos, lagging or insulating boards.

These must always be removed by contractors with a special license issued by the government. The contractors must follow regulations to make sure asbestos is safely removed.

Disposing of asbestos from your home

There are specialist skips at Mangotsfield, Yate, and Thornbury Sort It centres for the disposal of bonded sheet asbestos such as guttering and corrugated roofing sheets.

You should call the site before your visit to check there is room in the asbestos skip. Maximum quantities will apply.

On arrival tell the attendant that you are disposing of bonded asbestos.

Asbestos and fires

Risks of asbestos in smoke

During a fire asbestos containing materials (ACM) from a building may be released in the smoke plume.

The UK Health Security Agency advise that the risk to your health is low and there is unlikely to be any significant exposure to asbestos.

There are already small quantities of asbestos in the air so we are all breathing in asbestos every day during our lifetime.

It is only by breathing in large quantities of asbestos fibres over a long period of time like in a workplace using no protection that there is a risk of long-term health effects such as lung damage or life changing diseases like cancer.

Cleaning up safely

After a fire the dust and soot on your property is unlikely to contain any asbestos.

We will not be involved in this type of clean-up.

To clean up you should do the following:

  • gently damp down the debris using water 
  • gently flush away small particles to the drain 

Any clothing you were wearing or drying in the garden at the time of the fire will need to be washed in lukewarm water for at least 10 to 15 minutes to remove any trace of asbestos fibres as a precaution.

Any asbestos containing debris will need to be removed by specially trained people. They will need to wear protective equipment, such as dust masks and overalls to reduce their asbestos exposure risk during the cleaning-up procedures.

If you find ash and asbestos containing debris on your property including in your garden contact us for advice by:

If a household item such as a carpet has ash on it from the fire it will need to be cleaned by professionals.

You can also contact your home and/or contents insurer who may be able to help.

If you need to move or remove debris yourself such as from your car windscreen you must:

  • wear protective gloves
  • carefully pick up larger pieces 
  • place the pieces within two plastic bags (double bagged)
  • seal the bags

Take the sealed bags to our Mangotsfield, Yate, and Thornbury Sort It centres taking note of the disposal requirements of each site.

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More information

You can find more information about asbestos on the Health and Safety Executive website and on GOV.UK.  

Contact us

You can contact us for advice about asbestos. If your asbestos is in:

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