A Handy Guide to Spotting Asbestos in the Home

Asbestos in the workplace has led to many former employees opening compensation claims with the help of a lawyer mesothelioma being one of the most common conditions they have developed as a result of exposure.

But asbestos is not just limited to industrial workplaces. Most homes built between the 1930s and 1990s contain construction materials containing asbestos, normally used as part of insulation or pipe cladding. It’s usually harmless, but it is a good idea to determine whether your house has asbestos, and then to check whether it poses any kind of risk. You may want to get a trained professional to conduct a full asbestos survey, but here’s a simple guide if you want to carry out a preliminary check yourself:

1 Check your floor tiles
Asbestos was used in floor tiles because it was strong and hard wearing, and tiles containing asbestos materials can generally be fairly easy to spot. Typically they measure 9 inches squared and have a dated, 1950s look to them. If they’re still in good shape, the best advice is to either leave them alone or carpet over them.

2 Check your loft insulation
Your loft or attic could well contain some form of asbestos material, along the walls, beams or flooring. Look for loose types of insulation, which typically look like fluffy, greyish material. Be careful not to disturb any suspected asbestos as it is the dust particles that are harmful.

3 Check your fireplace
Asbestos can be found in fireplaces and other heat sources, but it’s often difficult to clearly identify as it’s often mixed in with other materials. If you are removing an old fireplace and spot insulation, your best bet is to stop straightaway as this is probably indicative of asbestos.

4 Asbestos can be anywhere
Asbestos isn’t just limited to obvious places like your loft, though. Asbestos composites can be located in your toilet cistern, toilet seat, bath panel or windowsill. It’s worth remembering this if you’re renovating any part of your house.


For specialist and free advice from a mesothelioma compensation claims lawyer, visit www.irwinmitchell.com.

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