Unfortunately, the considerable risk associated with asbestos exposure in UK factories is not just a historic issue and still poses a problem to this day. Asbestos was banned in the UK in late 1999, making it highly likely that any factory constructed prior to the ban will contain asbestos in some form.
Regardless of whether a factory building is currently in use, the chances of coming across asbestos remain high. If the substance hasn’t been removed to modern-day standards using licensed contractors, for example, there may be dust and debris lying on floors and other surfaces which can easily become airborne if disturbed.
That is why it’s imperative to conduct asbestos surveys and risk assessments prior to renovating or refurbishing older factory buildings, in order to fully understand the potential for asbestos exposure and contain the danger as much as possible.
Asbestos was widely used to insulate and fireproof commercial and industrial buildings and was often found in outdoor and indoor areas including:
• Sprayed coatings as insulation and fireproofing for ceilings, walls and steel columns
• Lagging for boilers and pipes
• Ceiling, wall and floor tiles
• Partition walling and panels in fire doors
• Gutters and downpipes
• Loose fill insulation
• Asbestos cement roofing, flues and soffits
• Water tanks and cisterns
• Rope seals and gaskets
• Asbestos textiles, such as fireblankets and protective gloves