Asbestos was commonly used in commercial buildings because it combines several useful properties. It is strong but light, provides good insulation and is resistant to fire.
Asbestos was commonly added to other materials in construction projects including concrete sheeting, asphalt and vinyl roof shingles.
Although the harmful effects of asbestos were suspected for much of the 20th Century, it was not until 1999 that some countries, including the UK, acted to ban its use.
Is Asbestos roofing putting you and your employees at risk?
Asbestos was used widely in the roofing industry including within cement sheet roofs and as part of asbestos roofing tiles. If your commercial buildings still contain these materials you should arrange for their professional disposal as soon as possible.
When solid and bonded, asbestos poses minimal risk to health. Any damage or disturbance to materials containing asbestos can create hazardous dust, particularly if the material is degraded. It was through inhaling or ingesting this dust, formed from sharp fibres of asbestos, that led to many people dying from lung diseases and cancer.