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Asbestos in your home

What it is, where it may be found and how to ensure that you or your family are not put at risk

Asbestos in the Home

This information is all about asbestos - what it is, where it may be found in your home and how to ensure that you or your family are not put at risk. 

  • What is asbestos?

    Asbestos is a general name given to a group of natural minerals which are mined all over the world. There are three main types of asbestos: Blue asbestos (crocidolite), brown asbestos (amosite) and white asbestos (chrysotile).

    Asbestos is very strong, flexible and stable. Because of these properties it was used widely in the manufacture of building materials between the 1930s and the mid-1980s and most extensively in the 60s & 70s. So if your home was built or refurbished during this period, the chances are it will contain some Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). Although the scale of its use reduced in the mid-1980s when some types of asbestos were banned, the total ban on the use of asbestos in building materials came in 1999, so any properties built before the year 2000 could still contain asbestos building components.  Asbestos can be found in its pure form but mainly only in commercial or industrial premises. In the domestic environment, it is usually found mixed with other substances to make building materials that are strong and heat resistant.

  • Where might you find asbestos in and outside the home?

    The following is a list of some of the domestic uses of Asbestos Containing Materials:

      • Airbricks.
      • Bath panels.
      • Boilers & pipework.
      • Cold water tanks.
      • Corrugated cement sheeting - sheds/garages.
      • Decorative coatings e.g. artexing.
      • Fire surrounds.
      • Flooring materials - vinyl/thermoplastic floor tiles; paper backing.
      • Flue pipes.
      • Rainwater guttering and downpipes.
      • Roof & exterior walls.
      • Soffit boards.
      • Soil pipes.
      • Sprayed coating on steel framed buildings.
      • Wall boarding - internal partitions, airing cupboard linings, duct & pipe covers
      • Back boiler and wood stove gaskets
  • What are the health risks?
      • Any asbestos containing material that is in good condition will not present a health risk but when asbestos materials are damaged, drilled, sawn, scrubbed or sanded, the risk can be increased.
      • When asbestos containing materials get damaged, asbestos fibres can be released into the air.
      • These fibres can penetrate deep into the lungs where they may stay for a long time. This can cause cancer and thickening of the lungs. 
  • What are your responsibilities?
      • Carrying out any work on asbestos containing materials without knowledge, expertise and personal protection puts peoples’ health at risk. Changes to the structure or fabric of your home are not permitted under your tenancy agreement without prior written approval. Trent & Dove Housing runs survey programmes before maintenance or refurbishment work so that any ACMs that could be disturbed by the work are identified.
      • If you want to carry out any home improvements that may disturb an asbestos containing material you must contact the Maintenance Team for permission.
      • Proper controls must be in place to reduce exposure to you, your family and the person carrying out the work (if not yourself).
      • If you carry out any work or permit others to carry out work without written approval, you will be liable for any costs of dealing with any asbestos incidents.
      • If you are worried about asbestos in your home or would like further information, please contact your Local Office.
      • Burton upon Trent 01283 528528.
      • Uttoxeter 01889 561870. 
  • Where can I get more information?

    Useful Websites:, The Health & Safety Executive, Asbestos Information Centre, East Staffordshire Borough Council

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