Where can asbestos be found?

Last updated: 05 Mar 2020

In 2002, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimated that asbestos was present in 500,000 commercial and public buildings. Though many of these buildings will have since been demolished or refurbished, it is likely that hundreds of thousands of workplaces still contain the material.

It can be found in all manner of places in a building, and in a number of different forms, which can make it hard to identify. Examples include:

  • Sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls, beams and columns
  • Water tanks
  • Toilet seats and cisterns
  • Loose fill insulation
  • Lagging on boilers and pipes
  • Asbestos insulating board (AIB) – partition walls, fireproofing panels in fire doors, ceiling tiles, soffits and panels below windows
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Textiles such as fire blankets
  • Textured decorative coating on walls and ceilings, such as Artex
  • Asbestos cement roofs, panels, flues, gutters and downpipes

Often, asbestos can be hard to identify, partly because it was often mixed with other materials – something known as an asbestos-containing material (ACM).

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. It is therefore vital that asbestos is managed and maintained in a good condition.

Get help

If you have further questions about this contact us for more help.