What are the differences between the 6 types of asbestos?

Despite the fact that it is a naturally occurring substance, asbestos is a highly hazardous material. It was widely used in the building sector from the 1950s through to the middle of the 1980s. Asbestos can also be found in any building that was built before the year 2000, such as houses, offices, schools, hospitals and factories. Insulation and fire-resistance features of this fibrous material made it a popular choice for building construction.

While there are six different varieties of asbestos, each has somewhat different qualities, and the most essential thing to remember is that each type of asbestos is dangerous. All types of asbestos should be treated with extreme caution, and you should limit your exposure to asbestos as much as you possibly can.

Construction materials containing asbestos are still extremely widespread in structures built before 2000, and they are at risk of being disturbed during maintenance and renovation projects, as well as during demolition. Once the fibres have been disrupted, they can be inhaled, where they can become lodged deep within our lungs and cause a variety of serious conditions.

When it comes to identifying asbestos, it can surprisingly be quite complicated. One of the easiest ways you can recognise asbestos is by looking at the surface pattern of the material. Most types of asbestos will have a swirl or dimpled pattern on the surface.

As there are six different types of asbestos, it’s critical to know the characteristics of the different types of asbestos to determine what you are dealing with. Read on to find out more about each asbestos profile.

The six different types of asbestos

There are a total of 6 different types of asbestos:

  • Actinolite asbestos
  • Anthophyllite asbestos
  • Amosite asbestos
  • Chrysotile asbestos
  • Crocidolite asbestos
  • Tremolite asbestos

So let’s look into what they are and what the difference is between all of them.

Actinolite Asbestos

Actinolite asbestos is probably the least known type of the asbestos. It is a very rare form of asbestos and in contrast to many other varieties of asbestos, can be found in a variety of colours, ranging from green and blue to white and yellow, making it more difficult to distinguish from other types. Because of its rarity, it was barely utilised in buildings on its own; nonetheless, it can be found in a variety of items such as cosmetics – which is rare, but it does occur in low quality cosmetics. This form of asbestos was most commonly used in children’s toys, sealants, dry wall, and asbestos concrete, amongst other products.

Anthophyllite Asbestos

Anthophyllite asbestos is classed as an amphibole, which is similar to Tremolite asbestos. Anthophyllite is one of the most dangerous types of asbestos to inhale because of the small size of the asbestos fibres. This variety of asbestos, like Tremolite, was usually discovered as a component of other asbestos forms, with trace amounts also detected in items such as talc and cement.

Amosite Asbestos

Amosite asbestos, along with Crocidolite asbestos, was outlawed in the United Kingdom in 1985, but it had been widely utilised in a variety of applications before that. Amosite asbestos, which is also known as brown asbestos due to its colour, was once a popular choice for pipe insulation, cement sheets, insulating board and other thermal insulation products due to its versatility.

Chrysotile Asbestos

Chrysolite Asbestos used to be the most extensively utilised variety of asbestos, and it is sometimes referred to as “white asbestos” because of its colour. In part due to its widespread use, Chrysotile asbestos can still be found in a variety of places, including roofing materials as well as ceilings, walls, floors and other surfaces in both commercial and residential buildings. Chrysotile was also utilised in the manufacture of brake linings, brake pads and brake gaskets for automobiles.

Crocidolite Asbestos

When Crocidolite asbestos was banned in the United Kingdom in 1985, it was one of the first groupings of the material to be banned anywhere in the world. Crocidolite asbestos, which is also known as “blue asbestos” because of its colour, was most widely utilised in the insulation of steam engines and pipelines, as well as spray-on coatings, plastics, and cement products.

Tremolite Asbestos

Tremolite asbestos is different from the other major kinds of asbestos. It is often found as a contaminate of Chrysotile asbestos. It has been linked to cases of malignant mesothelioma that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. Tremolite comes in a variety of colours, from milky white to dark green. It is frequently found in talc and vermiculite. Tremolite was once utilised in paint, sealants, insulation, roofing and plumbing materials, amongst other things.

Asbestos is a human carcinogen classified as category 1. Asbestos fibres can cause a variety of deadly or serious respiratory diseases when inhaled. Keep in mind that if the fibres are breathed in or ingested, all six kinds of asbestos constitute a health concern. Asbestos-related diseases might take anywhere from 15 to 60 years to manifest. The danger with asbestos materials is that they decay over time, and asbestos fibres are easily released into the air if they are disturbed.

If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your environment, contact a professional team immediately, such as the friendly team here at South East Asbestos Surveys! We are the specialists in asbestos surveys in the south east, and we can provide a FREE quote for all commercial and domestic customers. Just call now on 07872 054963 to find out more.

Who do the Control of Asbestos Regulations apply to?

Different people are affected by the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 at different periods. If you’re wondering when the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 apply to you, this article will help you figure out when it does.

Explaining the Control of Asbestos regulations

To begin with, ‘Duty Holders’ and ‘Employers’ are the two main sorts of people who are subject to asbestos legislation. These people frequently enlist the help of others to fulfil their tasks. Safety officials, managers, maintenance personnel, and estate managers are just a few examples. It’s not always easy to figure out who the ‘responsibility holder’ is. Within a school for example, it may be the principal, the local government, or even the chair of the board of governors.

If you’re not sure if you’re a duty holder or if the regulations apply to you, you should seek expert help. The obligation entails a variety of responsibilities that must be fulfilled to comply with current legislation – The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

What requirements are under the Asbestos Control Regulations of 2012?

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 are widely believed to apply to structures constructed before the year 2000. Asbestos was outlawed in the United Kingdom in late 1999.

Asbestos management is a requirement for “non-residential property” meaning an asbestos survey must be carried out. When work is to be done on a domestic residence, asbestos surveys and information may still be necessary.

The control of asbestos legislation will apply to you as a duty holder, and it is your responsibility to ensure that the premises have an up-to-date asbestos registry. Any person who works in the building or arrives to undertake work in the facility should have access to this (within reason). If a tradesman enters a building for which you are responsible and exposes themselves or others to asbestos, the duty holder and/or the tradesmen’s employer are both responsible for the exposure.

Anyone who is the acting duty bearer is also responsible for ensuring that asbestos is securely managed through the implementation of a well-defined asbestos management strategy. Following any material changes, an asbestos management plan should be revised, and all asbestos-containing items should be inspected at least once a year.

Contractors and maintenance employees can cause asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) to deteriorate or get damaged if they are not properly managed. Therefore, it is essential to work with qualified professionals.

Who is responsible for employee’s safety regarding asbestos?

Under the asbestos legislation, employers are accountable for the safety of their employees.

Employers have a responsibility to safeguard their employees from asbestos exposure (which may occur because of their work) and to ensure that they are properly trained to do so. ‘Asbestos Awareness Training’ is the name given to this form of training.

To put it another way, when an employee goes to a property built before 2000, they should have, or be able to, acquire adequate asbestos information about the location where they want to operate. This holds true for both business and residential properties.

Any work that needs to be done should be arranged by their employer to ensure that asbestos is not disturbed, protecting the employee as well as anyone who may be working in the building or on the site.

In addition to this, the employer should guarantee that the correct asbestos survey is in place. This would be a ‘management asbestos survey’ for non-invasive work, or a ‘refurbishment/demolition asbestos survey’ for work that will harm the building’s fabric.

There should be no work done on properties built before the year 2000 without an asbestos registration, survey, or adequate evaluation. In many cases, this will require the services of a an asbestos surveyor – such as ourselves here at South East Asbestos Surveys. Only a licenced HSE contractor or a suitably trained employee should work on asbestos-containing materials. If you need to work with asbestos-containing materials, asbestos awareness training is not the enough, you will require additional training.

Get in touch for more information

For further information about the Control of Asbestos Regulations, you can contact our team via phone on 07872 054963 or email on info@se-asbestos-surveys.co.uk for professional advice.