The control of Asbestos Regulations was introduced in 2006 (Revised 2012) to ensure that Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) are properly managed and controlled to reduce the risk of airborne emissions of ACM’s. The silicate mineral was added to different building materials to improve thermal, insulation and strength properties and it’s commercial use really took off after the Second World War, without any real knowledge of it’s harmful effects.

However, suspicions have grown over the years as to the health risks associated with asbestos and it was finally banned in 1999, having been proven to cause a substantial number of deaths and serious illness after a prolonged exposure. The most troubling aspect in much of this is that the interval between exposure and diagnosis can take up to fifty years. When not handled correctly, especially in large premises, asbestos fibres can quickly spread.

Leeds being┬ásuch a growing commercial hub past and present, has fallen victim to this largely inconspicuous killer. Thus many buildings and properties still contain asbestos products as part of their construction, and it doesn’t just take repairs or renovation work to expose the harmful fibres into the air, simply the peeling away of paint, for example, can send out tiny particles of this dangerous substance. In residential properties ACM’s can be found in the strangest of places and sometimes for no apparent reason, for example builders would use whatever was to hand to pack roof trusses or beams in loft spaces and this could be something like asbestos insulation board which has a high content of asbestos. The list is not exhaustive, ACM’s can be present in boiler flues, water tanks, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, ducts, pipe lagging, insulation materials, textured coating such as artex, soffits, fascias, gutters, downpipes, cupboards enclosing boilers and many other applications. Therefore, it’s difficult to establish how much asbestos is present in a home without employing a specialist to undertake a full inspection.

Prior to the purchase of property its’ recommended that an asbestos management survey is carried out before the exchange of contracts to ensure the liability for any remedial work which maybe necessary are identified and any financial implications can be agreed before the purchase is finalised.

Therefore, having an asbestos survey undertaken is very important. It will help to identify if asbestos is present, its condition and product type and if it is, determine how to control or remove it.