Asbestos - Barbour EHS Director's Briefing

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and because of its excellent fire retarding and insulating properties, it was widely used in the building industry until the mid 1980s.

Research has shown that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause lung disease and cancer. It is currently the greatest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK with several thousand people dying each year.

There is a long delay between asbestos exposure and the disease manifesting itself, typically between 10 and 50 years.The use of asbestos is now banned, but if existing asbestos materials are in good condition, they can be left where they are as long as their condition is regularly checked to ensure they do not become damaged.

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