Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that remains prevalent in the public eye. Now known for its dangerous properties, asbestos was once used throughout a range of industries for a variety of products. Today, it’s important to either leave or remove any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) you may find through the correct methods, in accordance with the local legislation. This is best handled by a professional asbestos removal company, like DES Holdings. The process of removing asbestos can be complex. Our expertise and knowledge at DES have led us to become one of the leaders in asbestos disposal across the country. That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide, complete with everything you need to know about removing asbestos. What is asbestos? Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used in a variety of products and materials for centuries. It is made up of long, thin fibres that crystalise over time. It’s mostly found in rocks and soil and can be mined directly from these sources too. Asbestos was once considered a ‘miracle mineral’ because of its durability, heat resistance and other properties. These unique characteristics made it an ideal material for many industrial applications that have been used for centuries. There are also six types of asbestos, each with different chemical compositions and structure: Actinolite Amosite Anthophyllite Chrysotile Crocidolite Tremolite In the UK, there are however often only 3 types found: Chrysotile, Amosite and Crocidolite. Chrysotile, known as white asbestos, is the most commonly used type of asbestos, accounting for almost 95% of all asbestos used commercially. Amosite, also known as brown asbestos, is another commonly used type of asbestos, while Crocidolite, known more commonly as blue asbestos, is the final type often found in the UK. Blue asbestos is also notorious for being one of the most harmful types of asbestos. However, all forms of asbestos are in fact dangerous to humans, each one can result in life-threatening illnesses when the particles are inhaled. Because of this, asbestos was banned from use in many countries in the late 20th century. Why was it used? Before it was banned, asbestos was used in many products and materials because it is durable, heat resistant and does not conduct electricity. Asbestos was also very affordable and cheap to mine, which made it even more attractive to manufacturers. Asbestos was commonly used in a variety of products and materials, particularly in insulation, flooring and roofing. It was also used extensively in piping, textiles as well as fireproofing materials because of its unique characteristics. Asbestos was even used in other industries and applications, such as in children’s crayons. But by the 1990s, the dangers of asbestos were known and its removal from these industries began. Today, most countries have completely banned asbestos, but the legacy, as well as the products manufactured prior to this ban, do remain. It’s therefore important to contact a professional asbestos removal company before undergoing any removal. The dangers of asbestos If you suspect that there may be asbestos in your home or workplace, it is important to get it tested by a professional. If asbestos is found, it is usually best to leave it undisturbed and hire a certified asbestos removal company, like DES Holdings, to remove it safely. Disturbing asbestos-containing materials can release dangerous fibres into the air. It has been linked to the following illnesses: Mesothelioma Lung cancer Asbestosis Pleural thickening Ovarian cancer Laryngeal cancer Asbestos is invisible to the naked eye and the small fibres, once disturbed, are likely to be inhaled when coming into close contact, leading to fatal illnesses. This is why it’s crucial to contact an accredited asbestos contractor to remove any trace of asbestos at all costs. As one of the leading asbestos removal companies in the country, we offer a full, detailed, and professional service of asbestos removal at a competitive rate for both domestic and commercial properties. The process Strict laws have been implemented since the 1990s to prevent the exposure of asbestos to the public. If you’re looking to safely dispose of any ACMs, it’s vital that you contact a professional asbestos removal company. DES is a fully licenced and accredited asbestos contractor that possesses the necessary equipment and training to safely remove asbestos from your property. We also dispose of any asbestos properly, under local regulations. The process of removing asbestos can be complex, but it’s important for us to work strictly within the guidelines of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (HSE) to complete any disposal of asbestos within the private, public and domestic sectors. Our process includes: A survey is first carried out to identify which form of asbestos is present, with extensive testing conducted. This will also determine whether the ACMs should be removed completely or if encapsulation is necessary Next, the area where the asbestos is located will be sealed off with plastic sheeting to prevent the spread of fibres Specialised equipment will then be used to either manage and encapsulate the asbestos or remove the ACMs completely. This may include vacuuming, wetting down the area or using a HEPA filter Once the asbestos has been removed or encapsulated, the area will be cleaned and inspected to make sure that all trace has been removed If encapsulation is a viable option, the process is a lot more streamlined and becomes cheaper, limiting the need to dispose of asbestos. Encapsulation is the process where a seamless and safe protective coating covers the ACMs, not disturbing them any further. Removing asbestos is a complex process that should only be carried out by trained professionals. Do not try to remove asbestos yourself or you could risk incurring a large penalty and even a prison sentence. Asbestos removal should only be done by a qualified and experienced asbestos contractor. Who to call? If you need to remove asbestos from your property, we highly recommend that you contact a licenced and accredited asbestos removal company to get the job done safely and correctly. With over 30 years of industry experience, DES Holdings have been performing cost-effective solutions to any size asbestos removal project nationwide. Our multi-disciplinary team are highly skilled and experienced with domestic and commercial asbestos removal at a reasonable cost. If you suspect ACM, contact a professional. Never attempt to remove or dispose of asbestos yourself. If you suspect that there may be asbestos in your property, contact DES Holdings, a certified and leading asbestos removal company today.