Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was imported & used extensively in the UK from the 1900s until 1999. Its heat-resistant properties made it ideal for use in a wide range of building materials, including insulation, roofing, flooring & textured finishes.
However, over time it became clear that asbestos posed a serious health risk. When the material is disturbed, tiny fibres are released into the air, which can be inhaled and cause serious lung diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.
The dangers of asbestos were first recognised in 1924, but it was not until the 1980s that the UK government took action to regulate its use. In 1985, the Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations were introduced, banning the use of blue and brown asbestos and limiting the use of white asbestos.
Despite these regulations, it is estimated that millions of homes and public buildings in the UK still contain asbestos. The material can be safely managed if it is left undisturbed, but if it needs to be removed or repaired, strict safety procedures must be followed to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres.
Today, the UK has some of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world, and the legacy of asbestos use continues to affect thousands of people every year. As a result, strict regulations and guidelines are in place to ensure that asbestos is safely managed and disposed of, and that workers and the public are protected from exposure to this deadly material.