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When was asbestos banned in the UK?

Prior to the UK-wide ban, asbestos was a popular material which was used in the construction industry as an effective insulator, in flooring, across roofing tiles, and in the brakes of domestic cars to name just a few examples.

It wasn’t until asbestos started to be directly linked to debilitating and long-term health concerns that the substance was tested and eventually banned – with the first UK ban coming into effect in 1985 for blue and brown asbestos, and the ban extending to include all white asbestos too in 1999.

As such, any building or house which was built before 2000 may have asbestos concealed within its walls, with our asbestos surveys designed to identify, test, and report on the structure and safety of any remaining asbestos.

Why was asbestos banned?

Asbestos was banned for use in the UK once it was directly linked with a series of health concerns and conditions known as asbestosis. This condition which settles in the lungs is caused by the small particles of broken asbestos being breathed in through the air – making breathing more difficult and acting as a fast track to certain types of cancer and other conditions. For those who are already vulnerable, it can create severe and long-term problems with their lungs.

Asbestos is also now a known carcinogenic substance which means that it can induce cancer, with the brown and blue forms of asbestos being the most harmful and damaging (although white asbestos is also directly connected to poor health and long-term conditions).

Crucially, the effects of asbestos cannot be reversed once the material has settled in the lungs. That’s why the substance has been banned so efficiently – because there is no cure for asbestosis, and those who were exposed to the material in the past are now living with the consequences.

Why don’t you just remove all the asbestos when you find it?

Following an asbestos survey, clients are presented with a report which outlines the stability of any asbestos found and how best to proceed. While some are transitioned to swift removal, others are placed under an asbestos management service, which sees regular updates and checks to ensure that the material is not breaking down and causing further issues.

The reason why not every case of asbestos is upgraded to removal straight away is because asbestos when fully intact and stable is not unsafe. In fact, the removal process itself could cause more harm than good, in breaking down and exposing the space to asbestos particles which were not there before.

Every case of asbestos is dealt with individually, with our team of experts in the UK able to deliver surveys and subsequent reports with a quick turnaround and at a cost effective and accessible level for all clients.

Think you’ve got asbestos in your home or property?

If you think there may be asbestos present in your home or building, or you want to book a survey to be sure and to protect the wellbeing of your family and loved ones, South East Asbestos can help. Delivering fast surveys and comprehensive reports, with advice and ongoing support no matter what we find behind the walls of your property.

Steven Hurst


I set up SE Asbestos Surveys more than 20 years ago, and we’ve come a long way since then! Today, we are your go-to local business for everything asbestos-related and more. The best part? Our in-house team handles it all, allowing us to offer you unbeatable prices.

Give me a buzz on the mobile to find out more. 


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