About asbestos hazards and how they are managed at the University.
Asbestos is the term used for the fibrous forms of several naturally occurring minerals. The three main types of asbestos are:
Asbestos has been the subject of gradual voluntary and formal bans since 1969. By 1999 the importation, supply and use of all forms of asbestos had been banned in the UK.
If you inhale asbestos fibres they can become lodged in the tissue of your chest and your body’s natural defences may not be able to easily break them down. This can lead to lung diseases (mainly cancers), particularly if you are repeatedly exposed to fibres over a number of years.
Asbestos has been used commercially for about 150 years. It is versatile and plentiful. Its useful commercial properties include:
Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive states that asbestos products that are in good condition and not liable to damage are best left where they are and regularly monitored, with any damage reported and repaired promptly.
The University follows these recommendations and asbestos products are managed to ensure that our buildings are asbestos safe.
Asbestos-containing materials will be removed if; they are damaged; they are liable to be damaged under normal building use, or; if building work is likely to disturb it. Good practice is followed in all aspects of asbestos management.
In many cases this ‘good practice’ goes further than the requirements of the regulations and official guidance. An asbestos policy and management plan have been produced stating how the University intends to manage asbestos containing materials.
This article was published on Dec 10, 2009