What are the UK Regulations Regarding Disposing of Asbestos?

What are the UK Regulations Regarding Disposing of Asbestos?
What are the UK Regulations Regarding Disposing of Asbestos?

Asbestos is a Greek word that means inextinguishable. It is not surprising why the material was extensively used during ancient Roman times in building materials and suits of armour. The material is durable and highly heat resistant. That’s why it became the preferred building material during the housing boom in the UK and other developed countries after the end of the second world war.

However, after publications of a number of studies regarding asbestos exposure it began to dawn that exposure to the material in the long term resulted in serious health complications including lung cancer. As a result, legislation was introduced in the UK gradually limiting the use of the material, until the much-sought-after building material was finally banned in 1999.

Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are still present in buildings made prior to 2000. Whether you are a company owner or a landlord, it’s vital that you know about the UK regulations regarding safe handling disposal of ACM to prevent asbestos exposure.

What are the UK Legislations Regarding Disposal of Asbestos?

The first regulations in the UK regarding disposal of asbestos was introduced in 1985. During that year the import and use of brown asbestos (amosite) and blue asbestos (crocidolite) were banned. Another regulation was introduced in 1999 that completely banned the import and use of white asbestos (chrysotile).

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These asbestos-related regulations had required that the work of disposing of asbestos should only be performed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor. The regulations had set the limit for asbestos exposure (0.1 f/cm3) and stipulated that ACM should be managed and identified properly. Moreover, the legislation had required that employees who are exposed to asbestos should be properly trained regarding safety precautions when handling the material.

Today, the disposal of asbestos is governed in the UK by the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. This is an updated version of the asbestos regulation that was introduced in 2006. The latest version incorporated the requirements of EU Directives regarding asbestos removal. The law had combined the provisions of previous laws banning the use, import, and export of all kinds of asbestos.

Legal Requirements for Asbestos Removal

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 had placed the duty of removing asbestos from the ‘duty holder’, which includes company owners, employers, and property owners who are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the property. The legal requirements have been put in place to reduce the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres.

The law recommends that existing ACM (asbestos products) that are in good condition should be left untouched. However, the duty holder is required to identify, monitor, and report about the condition of the ACM on a regular basis.

Other measures that directly or indirectly relate to asbestos collection and disposal include Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Make sure that you employ a licensed contractor for safe and cheap asbestos removal in London.

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