Asbestos safety information

Asbestos was widely used as a building material in the UK from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s. It was used for a variety of purposes and was ideal for fireproofing and insulation. Any building bought before 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals and so on) can contain asbestos. Asbestos materials in good condition are safe unless asbestos fibres become airborne, which happens when materials are damaged.

There are three main types of asbestos commonly called 'blue' (crocidolite), 'brown' (amosite) and 'white' (chysotile). All are dangerous, but blue and brown asbestos are known to be more hazardous than white.

More information

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have collated a list of frequently asked questions regarding asbestos.