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.