Asbestos. life. together. Improving

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1 Asbestos Improving life together

2 This leaflet is about how to find out if you have asbestos in your home and what we will do to keep you safe. What is asbestos? Why can asbestos be dangerous? Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that was used in a range of construction materials from the 1950s until the mid 1980s to make them hardwearing and fireproof. For this reason it can be found in many buildings, including hospitals, schools and homes. Asbestos stopped being used because it was discovered that it can be dangerous to a person s health. Asbestos materials are only dangerous when damaged, because they can then release fibres into the air. These fibres can penetrate deep into the lungs and eventually cause damage and disease. The risks to a domestic resident are small; the people most affected are those who worked with asbestos or were continually exposed to it for many years. 2

3 Is there asbestos in my home? If your property is less than 15 years old, it is very unlikely that it contains materials made from asbestos. The use of asbestos in building materials was stopped in 1985 but was not finally banned until the 1990s. Any asbestos materials in your home are likely to be in good condition and are unlikely to pose any significant risk to your health. However, you could be at risk if you carry out certain do-ityourself (DIY) jobs or minor building repairs. DIY activities such as sanding or drilling may disturb and possibly damage products containing asbestos. Before drilling or screwing into a wall or ceiling or carrying out other destructive DIY, get advice from Customer Services. Our responsibilities We have responsibilities under the law to manage asbestos risks in non-domestic premises and to hold a register of where asbestos has been found. Your home becomes a place of work when our tradesmen undertake repairs or carry out visits. This means we have to extend our register to cover domestic premises such as your home. 3

4 If you suspect that you have asbestos in your home and it is possible that it may be disturbed by works or any other activity, please contact us. What are we doing about asbestos? We are checking many properties for asbestosbased products. Qualified surveyors carry out these inspections. If your home is chosen, you will receive a letter in advance to tell you who will visit, and the time period during which they will call. The surveyors will each have an identity card. Please ask to see it before allowing anyone into your home. If we find damaged asbestos in your home, we will write to let you know where it has been found. Arrangements will be made for the asbestos to be removed or to be made safe. If the material is sound and in a protected situation, it is likely that it will be safer to leave it in place than disturb it. If it is left in place we will visit to check it periodically, to ensure it remains in a safe condition. Metropolitan holds a register of properties where materials containing asbestos have been found or are believed to exist. This register is continually updated and consulted before any works are carried out. 4

5 To find out if asbestos has been found or is believed to exist in your home, please contact us and we will check our records. Where might I find asbestos in my home? I am a leaseholder what should I do? Asbestos was used in many forms, which makes it impossible to definitively identify it without sampling and laboratory testing. However there are areas in the home where asbestos was commonly used. We have included a table and a diagram of a house on pages 6 and 7 to show you where asbestos might be found in your home. We are responsible for the maintenance and safety of your building structure and some common areas. Under your lease you are responsible for all fixtures and fittings within your property, so you will need to make your own arrangements for any checks to be made in your home. 5

6 Exterior of properties Eaves and fascia boards (12) Guttering and drain pipes (1) Down pipes (2) Roof sheets, garage and shed roofs (3) Roof tiles and exterior cladding (10) Interior Textured decorative ceiling and wall coatings (8) Floor and ceiling tiles (15) Panel on fire door and infill panels near windows, doors, etc (7) Panels behind radiators and heaters (6) Duct panels encapsulating pipe work and underside of stairs (11) Boiler and other items Interior boiler fabric and boiler flue pipes (13) Behind storage heaters and other electric equipment (9) Bath panels and toilet cisterns (5) Pads fixed to the underside of sinks (14) Water tanks and pipe laggings (4) 6

7 What do I do if I think asbestos has been damaged? The main risk arises from scraping or sanding floor and ceiling coatings or drilling through asbestos panels. If you believe asbestos has been damaged or you come across loose material which you believe may be asbestos, please get in touch with us straight away. Do not attempt to repair any damage, move or clean up the material yourself. We have trained staff and contractors who are on hand to help. 7

8 Contact us For more information: By phone Online By By post Metropolitan PO Box Nottingham NG8 9LE 8

9 9

10 This leaflet is about how to find out if you have asbestos in your home and what we will do to keep you safe. If you need this information in your own language, or in an alternative format (e.g. LARGE PRINT, Braille, audio disc), please contact your local office reception and we will take reasonable steps to arrange this for you. Chinese simplified Polish Portuguese Punjabi 10

11 Somali Spanish Turkish Urdu 11

12 Metropolitan is a leading provider of integrated housing services, care and support and community regeneration. Metropolitan is the brand name for Metropolitan Housing Trust Limited (MHT) and Metropolitan Support Trust Limited (MST), registered office: Cambridge House, 109 Mayes Road, Wood Green, London N22 6UR. MHT Ltd is charitable, registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965, No R and registered with the Homes and Communities Agency, the regulator of social housing, No. LO726. Consumer Credit Licence No MST Ltd is registered in England and Wales No Registered with the Homes and Communities Agency, the regulator of social housing, No. LH3741 and with the Charity Commission, No Published February Correct at time of going to print. Printed on paper from sustainable sources. CUST048/0213

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