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What Is asbestos?

Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring fibrous materials.

There are three main types:

  • White (Chrystolie)
  • Brown (Amosite) 
  • Blue (Crocidolite)

However, it cannot be identified just by its colour.

All asbestos is potentially lethal.

Asbestos was used extensively as a building material throughout the 1950's up until the 1980's when it was deemed hazardous to human exposure.

However, thousands of tonnes still remain in:

  • Asbestos cement e.g. garage roofs
  • Insulating boards e.g. airing cupboard doors
  • Textured walls, ceiling coatings and tiles
  • Lagging for boilers and pipe work
  • Rainwater pipes

Removal and disposal of asbestos

If you suspect you have asbestos in your private household then we would advise that you seek some professional advice.

The Health and Safety Executive has plenty of information on asbestos.

Asbestos must be removed and disposed of in a controlled and safe manner. The council encourages householders to dispose of all types of asbestos through a licensed contractor.

However, small quantities of cement bonded asbestos arising as a result of your own household maintenance and repairs can be taken to the tip at Bristol Avenue.

Each household is permitted to 3 free bags in a 12 month period and any asbestos taken to the tip must be contained in the bags provided by the council. If you wish to dispose of your asbestos in this manner you must follow the advice from the step by step guide below:

  1. Contact the tip for advice on how much asbestos they will accept and how you should wrap it. You will need to visit before you dispose of your asbestos as they will provide you with bags for wrapping it correctly
  2. Go and buy protective overalls, mask, gloves and goggles
  3. Plan the work so that the asbestos is handled as little as possible
  4. Damp down the material before disturbing it
  5. Do not break up cement sheeting. If they must be cut use a handsaw not power tools
  6. Place your asbestos into the RED sack and seal the bag with tape - then place the sealed red sack into the WHITE sack and securely seal
  7. Repeat the process for the second sack
  8. If dust is produced ensure it is wet, then sweep it up- do not use a vacuum as dust may then be spread around your house
  9. Once all dust is swept up and all asbestos is in the sacks – take off your overalls, mask and gloves and place them into your final sack and then securely seal with tape
  10. Take the wrapped asbestos to the the tip and speak with a member of staff in the office at the entrance- your asbestos will need to be checked and you will need sign an asbestos log sheet

Asbestos can only be accepted at the site between these hours: 10.00am to 3.45pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - the tip is closed Thursdays

No asbestos from commercial activities will be accepted under any circumstances as this must be disposed of at a licensed hazardous waste site.

Fly tipping of this hazardous waste or any type of waste can result in up to a 5 year prison sentence or a maximum fine of £50,000 fine, so please be responsible with your waste.

If you think that asbestos has been dumped then you will need to contact the Council on 01253 477477. Fly-tipping of any material is a serious issue and it is against the law to deposit any item of rubbish on to land.

If the fly-tipping has occurred on Blackpool Council land then it will be investigated, removed and follow up legal action taken.

Health Issues

Today using asbestos in new structures is illegal because it is so dangerous. All asbestos is banned and strict laws govern how to deal with any asbestos remaining in buildings.

Asbestos is extremely dangerous when it is disturbed and its fibres get into the air. It is the release of these fibres that produces the risk. If asbestos dust is inhaled it can lead to fatal diseases such as:

  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural Plaque
  • Mesothelioma
  • Lung cancer

Undamaged and intact asbestos should be checked and managed rather than disturbed. Asbestos may also cause or make other diseases worse.

There is no cure for asbestos related diseases; around 3,000 people die each year from asbestos diseases, which can take up to 60 years to show effect.

Advice

This information is aimed at householder’s not private businesses as they have different duties and responsibilities when dealing with hazardous waste such as asbestos.

The best way to remove asbestos is to use a licensed contractor.

Current advice should always be followed.

Contact the Health and Safety Executive: Information line - 08701 545500

This advice is given to help reduce the risks involved in removing small quantities of asbestos and is not intended to be relied on as providing a safe system of work so the council accepts no liability for any loss or damaged caused.