Waste types and control—asbestos waste
Waste types and control—asbestos waste

The following Environment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Waste types and control—asbestos waste
  • Identifying asbestos waste
  • Hazardous waste controls
  • Handling asbestos waste
  • Labelling asbestos
  • Storing and transporting asbestos waste
  • Disposal

Identifying asbestos waste

Asbestos exists in a number of forms and is toxic and carcinogenic (a cancer-causing material). It can be very damaging to human health and the environment. It does not break down easily and remains in the environment for a long time. Due to its hazardous nature, importing, supplying and using all types of asbestos has been banned since 1999, with only a few specific exceptions.

While the new use of asbestos is banned, asbestos products that were installed before the ban can remain in place. You must manage and maintain any existing asbestos products in a safe condition, to ensure they do not cause a danger to human health or the environment.

See Practice Note: Control of asbestos—duty to manage.

Asbestos was widely used in buildings. Consequently, there is a significant risk of disturbing and releasing harmful asbestos fibres and/or creating asbestos waste when demolishing or carrying out works to a building. Asbestos is commonly found in:

  1. asbestos cement products

  2. textured coatings

  3. floor tiles, textiles and composites