How to identify different types of asbestos & if it’s dangerous

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Asbestos is common, more common than you may think. If you have been looking around your home & think that you’ve found Asbestos you may want to try and identify it. Here is a complete guide to the different types of Asbestos you may come across & whether they are a danger to your health.

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What is Asbestos?

The UK banned Asbestos in 1999, but why, what is it? Asbestos is a fibrous material that was used in buildings commonly between the 1950-1980s, it’s naturally occuring. It seemed like a great idea to use in properties due to it’s many desirable features, such as being strong, sound absorbent & heat resistant, however it was soon discovered to be hazardous to health and subsequently banned.

It was used a lot in the UK in a time when many homes where built & refurbished, so if your home had any major work or was built before the 2000 period then it may contain Asbestos, and you should look at getting it removed.

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What are the types of Asbestos?

There are 3 main types of Asbestos in the UK, Chrysotile, Amosite & Crocidolite, there are also 3 further minor types of Asbestos which include Tremolite, Actinolite & Anthophyllite but these aren’t often found in the UK and I’ve not highlighted them below.

Find out more about the most common types of Asbestos:

  1. Chrysotile
  2. This is by far the most common Asbestos to come across in the UK and is often referred to as “White Asbestos”. It’s a soft material in the phyllosilicates serpentine subgroup. As a material it was often bonded with cement to be used on properties around the UK.

  3. Amosite
  4. Most common referred to as “Brown Asbestos”, Amosite, just like every other Asbestos is considered to be very dangerous. It’s technical name is Grunerite, but it’s not often referred to by this. Unlike Chrysotile, Amosite is an Amphibole type of Asbestos and is course and stronger. It’s also often found in homes mixed with Chrysotile.

  5. Crocidolite
  6. Just like the other two versions of Asbestos there is a colour associated with Crocidolite, it’s commonly referred to as “Blue Asbestos”. You are probably less likely to find this one in your home out of the three, it was used in steam engines, pipe insulation and cement products, much like Amosite this is an Amphibole type of Asbestos.

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Is all Asbestos dangerous?

All types of Asbestos have the ability to be dangerous to humans, however Asbestos in itself isn’t dangerous, it’s only when it is releasing dust & fibers that can be inhaled that it causes damage. Asbestos is very hazardous when it’s at something referred to as the “friable” stage, meaning that it is easily crumbled by hand, which it can get to over time. The reason Asbestos is so dangerous is that once they are in the lungs the body can’t break it down, they remain in place and can cause Asbestosis, Lung Cancer & Mesothelioma. If you identify Asbestos then it is always best to get rid of it.

Get a quote on Asbestos Removal

Have you identified a type of Asbestos in your home? Then before it becomes a risk to your health it is always worth while getting rid of it. In order to get Asbestos removed we highly recommend calling a professional as it’s a hazardous substance, fill in the form below to get started:


Mat

A complete novice trying to navigate in the world of DIY. I bought my first home about 2 years ago & ever since I've been trying to research & learn how best to tackle common household problems.

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