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Find out if Asbestos is Present

Asbestos Knowledge Base

ACMs may be present if the building was constructed or refurbished before blue and brown asbestos were banned in 1985. In some cases, ACMs such as asbestos cement were used up until 1999. You need to do all that you reasonably can to find them by;

  1. Looking at building plans and any other relevant information. This includes builder's invoices
  2. Carrying out a thorough inspection of the building both inside and out to identify materials that may be asbestos
  3. Consulting with others including architects, employees or safety representatives to gain more information

If the (young) age of the building or other information you obtain provide strong evidence that there are no ACMs present, then you need to conclude your survey by completing the management plan so that others can access the information about the survey that you have carried out.

Presume the material is asbestos

You are required to presume any material you find does contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that it does not. The following materials do not normally contain asbestos;

  • Glass
  • Solid wooden doors
  • Wooden floorboards
  • Bricks
  • Stone

Building plans may provide evidence that other materials are present.

You should be constantly aware that asbestos may be hidden from view behind partitions, floors, heating shrouds and ducting, room, roof and basement voids and cavity walls. You may need to be imaginative in your survey to discover hidden areas and to ascertain what is lying within them. Your survey is to find any area where potential work, refurbishment, or maintenance may be carried out. Remember, the purpose of the survey is to find all the asbestos in a building, not the asbestos that is on view!