June 16, 2023

Asbestos when and where was it used? What about homes-built post 2000?

Will a house built in 2000 have asbestos and what should i do? Despite HSE guidelines stating that no asbestos should be contained within commercial and non-domestic buildings constructed after the year 2000, studies and asbestos surveys conducted have shown that the risk can still potentially be present.
Back to Blogs

When was asbestos used in the UK?

Asbestos, in post 2000 build

The history of asbestos in the UK dates back to the late 1870s when the use of the material started, mainly on ships, steam engines and in power generating plants.

However It is believed that as early as 4000 B.C, asbestos was used for wicks in lamps and candles. Between 2000-3000 B.C., embalmed bodies of Egyptian pharaohs were wrapped in asbestos cloth to protect the bodies from deterioration.

In the 1800s, asbestos became popular due to the industrial revolution and a boom in the construction industry. At its peak use in the '60s and '70s, The UK imported over 170,000 tonnes of asbestos a year!

Asbestos where was it used in the UK?

Asbestos can be found in any industrial or residential building built or refurbished before the year 2000. It is in many of the common materials used in the building trade that you may come across during your work. At its peak, asbestos was used in over 3000 products, from asbestos cement to asbestos insulations to floor coverings and textured coatings to walls and ceilings.

Asbestos was widely used as a common building material in ship building and the construction of houses, commercial and public buildings such as schools.

Why was asbestos used in the UK?

Asbestos was used extensively due to its strength, flexibility, sound proofing, heat resistance and resistance to chemical attack. It was also cheap to mine and easy to add to other products in manufacturing.

Asbestos in the UK, when was it banned?

In the UK, Blue (Crocidolite) and Brown(Amosite) asbestos importation and use were originally banned earlier in 1985and the final ban came in 1999.

This later ban included white asbestos(Chrysotile) which was still actively used after 1985, and in some cases up until the late 1990’s. this is why in many buildings between 1985 and 1999 we find more cementitious roof coverings, textured coatings, and floor coverings in properties built in this time.

Where can asbestos be found within a home in the UK?

Where can asbestos be found in a UK home?

Renowned for its insulator purposes, heat resistance and strengthening properties, asbestos was commonly used within a range of different construction materials in the late 20th century, including roofing materials, sprayed and textured coatings, insulation materials, ceiling and wall panels, cladding, floor and roof tiles, textiles wraps and flash guards, soffits, fascia’s water tanks, pipe lagging and rainwater goods.

Its versatility and malleability meant that it could be found in a range of locations normally surrounding heating systems, plumbing systems and areas where noise might be a problem or heavy use areas within a building.

Will a house built in 2000 have asbestos and what should i do?

Despite HSE guidelines stating that no asbestos should be contained within commercial and non-domestic buildings constructed after the year 2000, studies and asbestos surveys conducted have shown that the risk can still potentially be present. 

Prior to the ban being enforced in November 1999, there was a wide range of materials and products containing asbestos fibre still being used. Suppliers of these materials and companies, particularly those in the construction industry, such as builders and developers, who had purchased these materials, might have had extra supplies. We find that large developments, spanning many years, materials used in construction can change over the development had that continued to be used until the supplies ran out. 

Examples of where asbestos materials could be present in post year 2000 buildings include;

  • Post year 2000 structures adjoined (extensions) to existing older structures or constructed upon original basements containing ACM’s.
  • Materials located within items of plant, equipment and machinery that has been salvaged and transferred into post year 2000 buildings, for example, boiler units, industrial ovens and electrical equipment.
  • Asbestos contaminated land on brownfield sites due for redevelopment. 
  • Fly-tipping of asbestos waste on post year 2000 sites.

If you are responsible for asbestos management, the likelihood of discovering Asbestos containing materials within a post-2000 building is minimal, however be aware that they might be present and carry out appropriate diligence checks.  

If you suspect that asbestos may be present within the premises, the best way of confirming whether the material contains asbestos is to have it sampled. Need asbestos testing contact us now.

What about CDM?

Asbestos Management, we can help.

The Construction Design and Management regulations were implement in 1994 now known as CDM 2015 https://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/2015/index.htm. Were intended to ensure that health and safety concerns were properly considered during construction, so that the risk of harm to those who have to build, use and maintain structures is reduced.

The regulations implemented the health and safety file. Part of this required as built drawings, Also known as record drawings and red-line drawings, as-built drawings are documents that allow a compare and contrast between the designed versus final specifications, and provide a detailed blueprint of the building and the land around it as actually constructed in the end. This may mean “as built” drawings may be present and asbestos locations may be mentioned on these.

What should I do to manage the risk of asbestos.

  • Because of the risks from accidental asbestos exposure every construction worker should have annual asbestos awareness training to keep them aware to the dangers of asbestos.
  • Undertake asbestos testing of any suspected materials likely to contain asbestos when identified on a construction project.
  • Implement an asbestos management plan to manage the risk of asbestos containing materials that are present.
  • If working in the marine industry. Despite being banned here in the UK, globally, asbestos is still used and still legal in the majority of countries around the globe. The mineral is still actively mined in Russia, India and China and then sent around the world to be added to other products.

Back to Blogs

You might also like...

All Blogs