Asbestos Information Page

Sources, problems, health impact, using at work, identification and disposal of asbestos

Where may asbestos be found?

Due to its thermal insulation properties, its chemical and thermal stability, and its high tensile strength, asbestos has been used extensively in the building industry in a variety of materials. Asbestos is most likely to be found in the following types of products:

  • Insulation boards used for fire protection and thermal insulation that are found in wall panels, roof spaces and ceiling and wall tiles.
  • Asbestos cement products used for fire protection and general purposes in roof sheeting, gutters, rainwater pipes and water tanks, ceiling and wall panels.
  • Lagging materials used for thermal insulation around pipes and boilers, and in heaters.
  • Heat resisting materials used for oven gloves, fire blankets and insulating electric cables in ovens, oven door seals.
  • Certain textured coatings and plasters.
  • Brake linings and clutch pads.

Asbestos products were used in buildings from the 1950's to the mid-1980's. Consequently any building that was constructed or had major refurbishment works during this period is likely to contain some type of asbestos containing material (ACM).

The use of asbestos peaked between the 1960's and early 1970's. Therefore premises built or refurbished around this time are the most likely to contain some form of asbestos.

Properties built since the mid-1980's are unlikely to contain asbestos in the fabric of the building as blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos were banned in 1985.

Properties built since 1990 are unlikely to contain asbestos anywhere in the building. However, some asbestos containing materials usually containing white (chrysotile) asbestos, notably asbestos cement, were used until 1999.

Last Updated: 28 May 2019