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What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that until 1999 was used for many everyday objects and heavily present within building materials in the UK. Some countries, such as Russia, still have active mines. It is now illegal to use asbestos of any kind in the UK.

The fibres of the asbestos mineral are soft and flexible, extremely heat resistant and also acts as an incredibly effective insulator. These properties, alongside the affordable cost in production, meant that it was used throughout many industries, and is still present in many places today.

It was formed in to many products; asbestos insulation boards (AIB), loose insulation, cement corrugated sheeting, paint, sealants, drywall, tiles, pipe insulation, and was even found in unexpected places such as fake snow and talcum powder. This variety of uses has made the removal a long and difficult process, and it is expected that asbestos will still be found in buildings for decades to come.

When undamaged and in good condition, there is no risk to the user. It is only when it is damaged, deteriorated or broken that the fibres are released and causes a hazard. Asbestos can be contained and managed to prevent this from happening without the removal, and this is called encapsulation. Where possible, this is the preferred method as advised by the HSE.

There are two strands of asbestos: Serpentine and Amphibole. These have different properties such as the shape of the fibres themselves and resistance to water. The most common types of asbestos are Chrysotile (Serpentine) and Amosite (Amphibole), but there is also the lesser found Crocidolite, Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthophyllite.

Aerial View of Asbestos Mining Quarry

Aerial View of Asbestos Mining Quarry

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Asbestos Removal Services

At e4 Environmental we offer a range of services. These are categorised into four main areas, and we can offer advice on any aspect of Asbestos Removal and Encapsulation. Click...

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About e4 Environmental - Fully Licensed Asbestos Removal Company

At e4 Environmental we are experts in all methods of removing and encapsulating hazardous asbestos materials in a safe and regulated manner. We are working in our 12th year as...


Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions we get asked are answered below for you! For further information give us a...

Q: What should I do if I find asbestos?

Before removals can take place, the type of asbestos needs to be identified with an independent surveyor to determine the exact properties. Never attempt to remove it yourself, and call a professional such as ourselves. If it is in bad condition it may be treated as an urgent matter.

Q: What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occuring mineral, which was produced through mining. It has incredibly strong, heat-resistant properties which is why it was used for so many things.

Q: Why do some works have to be notified to the HSE?

In order to protect all members of the public from any unnecessary asbestos fibre exposure, the HSE requires certain types of works to be notified to them at least 14 days in advance in order to regulate and control the removal procedures. These types of works include certain fibres and ACM’s, and these works may only be done by licensed contractors.

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