Asbestos is a mineral that can be found anywhere naturally. This mineral can cope with very high heat and an electrical current, which is why it was used a lot in the building industry at some point. In order to exploit its natural properties, the mineral was mixed with other materials.
It is necessary to ask a specialist to carry out surveys if you think your building contains asbestos materials. It can be found on insulation paint on pipes and steel framework as well as insulating board or cement. A specialist in asbestos surveys and asbestos management will be able to identify those hazardous materials.
It can be very dangerous, especially for electricians, plumbers, heating and ventilation engineer or anyone working in the building and maintenance trade. It is estimated that around one thousand people who work in these sectors actually die every year because of it as there are still a lot of places where it was used and where asbestos surveys were not carried out.
It is important if working in an environment containing asbestos to minimize the dust by keeping materials slightly damp, to use hand tools instead of power tools, but also to clean up around as the work progresses and to double bag asbestos waste properly.
It is also very important to wear proper clothes like disposable overalls and boots without laces or at least disposable boot covers, to have a suitable mask for the dust and above all, not to smoke, eat or drink in the work area as asbestos fibres could get into your lungs that way and cause lung cancer for example.
People who own, occupy, manage or just have responsibilities for non domestic premises that may contain this dangerous material either have the legal duty to manage the risk from it or a simple duty to co-operate with the people managing that risk, and if they have information on where it could be located on the premises, they will have a duty of co-operation.
It is a very dangerous material that can cause terrible damage to the lungs. It is unfortunately still present in some buildings so as soon as you suspect the presence of this hazardous material, you should warn the person responsible for the premises so asbestos surveys can be carried out in order to identify if there is or not.