The ports and docks of Great Britain have always been an important entry point for the materials and products that helped to build the country. Since 1940, it was through these docks and ports that saw the import of over 5,000,000 tonnes of raw asbestos fibre into the country.
Today there are stringent standards that building materials have to comply with in order for them to enter the construction supply chain. However, whilst the dangers associated with the inhalation of asbestos fibres have been known for many years, asbestos wasn't finally banned completely in the UK until 1999, meaning that the substance remains in significant quantities within many of Britain's buildings. Here James Dodgson, commercial director for Asbestos at SOCOTEC, discusses the importance of asbestos management within the UK's education sector.
When it comes to asbestos, roofing and insulation materials tend to be the first things that come to mind. However, not everyone is so aware of the other common materials that may contain asbestos; the HSE list a few examples, such as sprayed coatings, flooring, and textured coatings – all of which pose a health risk if disturbed without suitable precautions.
Before its total ban in November 1999, asbestos was used widely because of its properties as a thermal insulator, its strength, fire resistance and its chemical resistance.
As a provider of asbestos management and consultancy services, our asbestos surveyors have discovered asbestos in a number of locations and, with years of experience, are tuned in to the typical finds as well as the hidden uses of asbestos across many different functions.
At its very peak in 1973, 183,000 tonnes of asbestos were imported into the UK. However, while we commonly associate the use of asbestos with building materials in the 20th Century, we can actually trace its use back to 3000 BC, when asbestos cloth was used to protect the embalmed bodies of Egyptian Pharaohs.
With nearly 300,000 outlets across the nation, the retail industry is a major contributor to the UK’s economy. However, in recent years, consumers have started shopping more frequently but purchasing fewer items during each trip in a habit known as the ‘little and often’ trend. Furthermore, trading restrictions on larger stores have led to companies adapting the way in which they conduct business.
James Dodgson, explains how a collaborative approach is key to the effective management of the risks associated with asbestos in soil.