Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used in a variety of products over the years such as in insulation, flooring, and piping. Once disturbed, asbestos becomes a dangerous substance that can result in life-threatening illnesses. With conflicting information available on the internet regarding asbestos, it’s always difficult to determine how best to dispose of asbestos and what regulations there is surrounding asbestos removal. But who should you call if you’re concerned about asbestos in your home or business? As a leading asbestos removal company, we’ve decided to break down the important information that you need to know on what to do and how to handle asbestos safely. The short answer The most important thing to know about handling and disposing of asbestos is that you should not do it yourself. It is highly recommended that you do not attempt to remove the asbestos yourself in any way. Once an asbestos-containing material (ACM) has been disturbed, it can be deadly, with fibres being released into the air that can then coat the lungs, leading to serious illnesses such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The risk of developing a serious disease also increases with every exposure to asbestos. Strict laws have been implemented since the 1990s to prevent exposure to asbestos in the public. If you’re looking to safely dispose of any ACMs, it’s essential that you contact a professional asbestos removal company. DES Holdings is a fully UK licensed and accredited asbestos removal company with a highly skilled and experienced team that are equipped to manage, remove and dispose of asbestos safely. With affordable prices for asbestos removal, DES offer a leading asbestos removal service across the country. The Law Since 1999, asbestos safety regulations have been in place to help safeguard the public and those dealing with the removal of asbestos. A UK governing body established regulations in 2012 to help in properly managing the disposal of asbestos. Some of the most important aspects to note from the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 are: If existing ACMs are in good condition and are not likely to be damaged, they may be left in place; their condition must be monitored and managed to ensure that they are not disturbed If you are looking to do any building or maintenance work on premises, on a plant or on equipment that might contain asbestos, you need to first identify where it is, its type and its condition; assess the risks, and manage and control these risks In most cases, work with asbestos must be done by a licensed contractor. If you’re carrying out non-licensed asbestos work, this still requires effective controls Training is mandatory for anyone liable to be exposed to asbestos fibres at work From 6 April 2012, any non-licensed work must be notified to the relevant enforcing authority. Failure to adhere to the government guidelines and regulations can lead to large fines and serious penalties, including possible prison time, for those who violate asbestos laws. Guidance for Homeowners If you believe that any asbestos-containing materials have been disturbed in your home, you must alert the local council to minimise the risk of it spreading. Do not attempt to dispose of the asbestos yourself. It’s highly recommended that you contact your local asbestos removal company that is fully licensed and equipped to safely handle asbestos removal. DES Holdings are based in the heart of the West Midlands, able to travel across the nation. Our skilled team of experts provide a full turnkey solution for any undertaking of asbestos disposal, including testing and surveying, managing, removing, and disposing of asbestos-containing materials. Guidance for businesses If you’re the landlord, tenant or managing agent of a commercial property you are often held responsible for managing asbestos, unless your contract or lease states otherwise. Steps on what to do First check your lease or contract to see who is responsible for asbestos. Find out where the asbestos is. Contact a professional asbestos surveyor to provide the correct information necessary Analyse and keep a record of what you find. Complete a health and safety risk assessment. Share the information with anyone likely to come into contact with the area in question, such as employees, builders or contractors. Decide to either keep the ACMs in good condition or to have it safely removed. Failure to adhere to government regulations can lead to a fine of up to £20,000 as well as imprisonment for 12 months. For a serious breach, there is the chance you could in fact face an unlimited fine and or imprisonment of up to 2 years instead. What should you do? The best way to handle, remove and dispose of asbestos is to hire a licensed asbestos removal company. At DES Holdings, we provide a professional and guarantee a safe service of removing asbestos. We offer both national and local asbestos removal with over 30 years’ experience in the field. Our certified team of trained experts pride themselves on their reputation, skills, and workmanship in survey and testing, management, removal, and safe disposal of asbestos. Contact us today for a quote or further information.