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.
Despite being banned in 1999, asbestos is still widespread across the UK built environment. Asbestos containing materials (ACMs), such as old ceiling tiles, plasterboard and wall insulation, may still be present in buildings - particularly those built before the late 1970s. Meanwhile, traces of the substance may be found in remnants of paints and other coatings after the original ACM has been removed, or even in soils after the building has been demolished.