Asbestos Information Page

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

What is the problem with asbestos?

When asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are damaged or significantly disturbed, asbestos fibres can easily become airborne and subsequently be inhaled. The body can remove the larger fibres, but the smaller microscopic fibres can pass into the lungs where they can remain for many years. This can have serious consequences for human health. However, there is no known danger from asbestos fibres that are swallowed or that come into contact with skin.

Important: Asbestos is chemically inert and its mere presence does not indicate a health hazard. Indeed, if asbestos containing materials are maintained in a good condition and in a position where they are not going to be disturbed or damaged then it is safer to leave them where they are and ensure that the risks are managed.

Last Updated: 18 July 2018