Asbestos Information Page

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

Identifying asbestos

Since 1976 British asbestos manufacturers have had to put labels on most of their products to show that they contain asbestos. Unfortunately, labels are often removed after purchase. Since early 1986, all products have carried the European label. If you are in doubt, the supplier or manufacturer of a building material or appliance may be able to tell you whether it contains asbestos. Contractors such as plumbers and heating engineers may also have experience in identifying asbestos. In the absence of any labelling, the only way to definitively identify asbestos is to have it analysed by an accredited laboratory. Therefore the only safe course is to treat all material that may contain asbestos as if it does contain asbestos.

The Heath and Safety Executive have a useful asbestos gallery showing pictures of asbestos containing materials.

Last Updated: 25 March 2021