About Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been mined extensively throughout the world.


It has been incorporated into a wide range of building materials over the past century due to its useful properties such as:

  • Fire retardant
  • Thermal and electrical insulation
  • Chemically inert
  • Tensile strength

Asbestos - the problem!

When asbestos is disturbed or damaged its fibres can be breathed in. These fibres can be trapped in the body’s respiratory system and may cause one of several types of lung disease.

The current annual death rate from asbestos diseases in the UK exceeds 4500 and is expected to peak at 10,000 before it decreases.

Lung diseases caused by exposure to asbestos include: Asbestosis, Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma.

Research by the Health & Safety Executive indicates that the most at risk groups to asbestos exposure are:

  • Builders and allied trades
  • Demolition workers
  • IT installers