Asbestos was extensively used in building materials in the UK from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s and products continued in use after this time, whilst they were available.
- Any building built before 2000 could contain asbestos.
- In many cases Asbestos may be hidden - behind walls, under flooring and disguised by paints and coatings.
There are a broad range of Asbestos products in existence. This is intended as a guide only and is not exhaustive.
1. Textured Coating (eg Artex)
Asbestos can be found in coatings on ceilings and sometimes walls as decorative plaster or paint work.
2. Corrugated Asbestos Cement Sheeting - Roofs
These are often found on garages, sheds, industrial and farmyard buildings.
3. Asbestos Cement Wall Cladding
Similar in shape and structure to roof sheeting and is often found on buildings with asbestos cement roofs. A flat, panel version of this was also used in buildings, often found in larders, porches, fireplaces and electricity cupboards.
4. Water Tanks
These are usually made of asbestos cement and often found in pre-1980 properties.
5. Floor Tiles
Vinyl and thermoplastic floor tiles can contain asbestos. The backing and adhesive may also contain asbestos.
6. Asbestos Bitumen Resin & Bakelite Plastics
These include damp proof membrane, sink pads and roofing felt. Asbestos was also used in Bakelite plastic products. Typical examples still in use are light switches, toilet cisterns, toilet seats and door handles.
7. Rainwater products
Roof guttering and down pipes can often be made of asbestos cement.
8. Sprayed Coatings
Insulation coating typically found on the underside of roofs and also sides of buildings. Asbestos was also used as fire protection on steel and reinforced concrete beams/columns and on the underside of floors.
9. Asbestos Insulation Board (AIB)
This was commonly used as a fireproofing material and it had many other uses such as: Partition walls, panels in fire doors, cupboards, boiler rooms, lift shaft linings, ceiling tiles, soffits and panelling below windows.
10. Loose Fill Asbestos
This was used to insulate industrial and domestic properties and can be found in between cavity walls under floorboards and in loft spaces.
11. Pre-formed Coatings & Lagging
These were used as thermal insulation for pipes and boilers.
12. Paper & Paper Products
Asbestos was also used for the insulation of electrical equipment and as a backing material on items like wood veneers and linoleum and inside metal cladding.
13. Asbestos Cement Flues
These may be found in boiler systems (including domestic) air conditioning and ventilation systems.
14. Asbestos Rope & Textiles
These can be found in fuse boxes behind the fuse, old fire blankets, heat resistant gloves and gaskets.
15. Storage Heaters
Many storage heaters manufactured before 1975 may contain an asbestos sheet used as a fire retardant.