Asbestos is found naturally in rock formations around the world. It is made up of lots of small fibres.

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1 Your Guide to Asbestos March 2010 Many people worry about the health risks of asbestos, but as long as it is not damaged it is unlikely to cause problems. This booklet tells you what you need to know. What is asbestos? Asbestos is found naturally in rock formations around the world. It is made up of lots of small fibres. Why would I have asbestos in my home? Asbestos fibres are strong, durable and resistant to heat and chemicals and that s why asbestos was added to a wide range of building materials mainly between the 1950 s until the 1980 s. It is not found in its pure form but added to other materials, such as plastic, plaster and cement to create, Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM s). Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM s). Although there has been a dramatic decline in the use of asbestos containing materials since the early 1980 s, asbestos products are found in most homes. LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 1 of 12

2 Why could asbestos be a problem? Asbestos containing materials (ACM s) are generally safe and not a health risk if they are in a good state of repair and left undisturbed. However, if they are damaged or broken they can release fibres into the air. Can I be exposed to asbestos? People can put themselves at risk, often without realising it, if they are not taking proper precautions when repairing or renovating areas that disturb materials containing asbestos. Is asbestos dangerous to my health? Asbestos poses health risks only when fibres are present in the air that people breathe. If the fibres are enclosed or tightly bound in a material, there is no significant health risk. Who is at risk? We are all exposed to low amounts of asbestos which are present in the atmosphere. The Health and Safety Executive consider these levels to be safe and unlikely to cause problems. The people most at risk from asbestos are those who are exposed to high levels of asbestos fibres over along period of time. LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 2 of 12

3 Where might asbestos be most commonly found in my home? Asbestos is found in a variety of products. Some of the most common are below. Outside your home Roof sheets and tiles; exterior cladding; guttering & drain pipes; flue pipes & terminals. Inside your home Electrical distribution boards and fuses; plastic floor tiles; textured wall & ceiling coatings; underside of stairs; lagging around pipe work and hot water cylinders; water tank; fireplace panels; bath panels; boiler flue pipe lining & boards on the back of boilers. How do I tell if I have asbestos in my home? You cannot tell just by looking if something contains asbestos. In recent years new products have been developed without asbestos but look very similar to materials they have replaced. The only way to tell if something contains asbestos is by testing a sample of the material this should only be done by a trained survey. LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 3 of 12

4 What are we doing about asbestos in our properties? Asbestos containing materials will have to remain in social housing for a long time yet. This is fully in line with the law and with central government policy. The mere presence of asbestos does not necessarily create a health risk. The risk arises from the breathing in of microscopic asbestos fibres released through mishandling, or in areas where it is subject to heavy wear. Leeds Federated s criteria for dealing with asbestos is as follows: All our contractors have received training in asbestos awareness. Before we carry out any major or planned work to your home we will commission a survey by a specialist contractor. There are two different types of survey: (i) a management survey and (ii) a refurbishment/demolition survey. The type of survey we carry out will vary during the lifespan of the property and several may be needed over time. It is probable that at larger properties we may need to carry out a mixture of survey types. Please note that our asbestos surveys do not include items owned by the tenant. LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 4 of 12

5 A management survey is the standard survey. It ʹ s purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect asbestos containing materials or A.C.M.s in the property which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition. Management surveys can involve a combination of sampling (by making a small hole) to confirm asbestos is present or presuming asbestos to be present. In some cases we may carry out another type of survey called a refurbishment/demolition survey. This is required for all work which disturbs the fabric of the building in areas where the management survey has not been intrusive. After receiving the survey result, Leeds Federated will take one of four actions below depending on the risk. LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 5 of 12

6 How Leeds Federated will act Type of risk If the type of asbestos, location or condition has a high risk. We will take immediate action to have this removed. If the risks are much lower and it would be more practical to remove the material as part of a larger works plan. Certain asbestos materials are used in a bare state and sealing and bonding will reduce or stop the release of fibres. If the asbestos is in good condition and is not likely to be damaged, worked on or disturbed it is usually safer to leave it in place and manage it. Action Remove immediately Remove as part of a maintenance plan Encapsulate/ seal & record and manage Record and manage We maintain an Asbestos Register Database showing all the survey results. We update it when appropriate. LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 6 of 12

7 Leeds Federated insists that all asbestos must be removed, sealed or repaired by contractors with a special license issued by the Government. These licensed contractors have to follow strict regulations to ensure asbestos is safely handled. What happens if asbestos needs to be removed? You will be notified. There are several methods available for safe removal of asbestos and these are detailed in the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Guidance Notes. The basic types are 1) dry stripping; 2) controlled wet stripping; 3) high pressure water jetting; and 4) air management for hot stripping. The licensed contractor will assess each case and use the most appropriate method. For example, if electrical equipment is near the asbestos it is preferable to use a dry technique. Can I stay in my home while the asbestos is removed? Yes. The licensed contractor has to follow strict regulations to ensure asbestos is safely handled and does not move into uninvolved areas. The removal area is partitioned from the occupied (uninvolved) areas using plastic sheeting and plywood. Only the licensed contractor is allowed to enter the removal area once work begins. The contractor will take precautions to reduce the amount of dust created and this may include wetting the materials. LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 7 of 12

8 In addition to this, a ʺnegative airʺ pump draws air from the removal area through a series of filters to remove asbestos fibres and dust that may contain asbestos. These filters are called High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. All of this ensures that the air inside the removal area does not flow into the occupied (uninvolved) areas except through the HEPA filters. What happens to the asbestos that is removed? The removed asbestos is classified as a controlled waste and must be disposed of only at licensed sites. While still in the removal area, the contractor will place the asbestos debris in specially marked bags. Before bringing them out, the bags are placed in secondary bags that are marked ʺAsbestos Containing Materialsʺ (ACM S). The bags may be placed in a secure area or in locked containers before being transported to a secure landfill that accepts asbestos waste. What precautions should I take to avoid exposure to asbestos? Please remember that changes to the structure or the fabric of the property are not permitted under the tenancy agreement with Leeds Federated without prior approval in writing. This includes all garages and out buildings. Asbestos fibres can get into the air during do it yourself (DIY) work at home. DIY activities such as drilling and LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 8 of 12

9 sawing may disturb and damage Asbestos Containing Materials. Always contact us before carrying out any work. Never try to remove, sand, scrape, drill or saw without permission. WARNING: If you personally carry out any work or enable and permit others to carry out work without our prior written consent after receiving this guide, you will be liable for any costs of dealing with any asbestos incidents, as well as the cost of reinstatement. While the licensed contractor is in your home please note: You will need to keep activities to an absolute minimum in any areas where material may contain asbestos. Do take every precaution to avoid damaging asbestos material. Do not dust, sweep or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos. Do not trample dust or mess from materials that may contain asbestos through the house. What if I bought my home under the Right to Aquire? If you bought your house under the Right to Acquire you become responsible for the asbestos containing materials in your home (subject to the restrictions under the Right to Acquire). LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 9 of 12

10 Main Points There are asbestos containing materials in many buildings and homes in the UK, and there will be asbestos in a number of properties owned by Leeds Federated. Materials containing asbestos that are good condition and left undisturbed do not pose a risk to your health. Please remember that changes to the structure or the fabric of the property, garages and outbuildings are not permitted under your tenancy agreement without prior approval from us in writing. Leeds Federated holds a list of properties where asbestos has been found or is believed to exist. This list (or Asbestos Register Database) is updated as we carry out asbestos surveys across all our properties. Before we carry out any major or planned work to your home we will commission an asbestos survey by a specialist contractor. There are two different types of survey: (i) a management survey and (ii) a refurbishment/demolition survey. The type of survey we carry out will vary during the lifespan of the property and several may be needed over time When asbestos materials need to be removed or made safe, we will employ contractors who are licensed with the Health and LF Safety HA Asbestos/your Executive. guide to asbestos All v5 work March 2010/AS is done under the Page Control 10 of 12 of Asbestos at Work Regulations.

11 Main Points If the asbestos containing material is in a good condition, it is best practice to leave it in place. However, if the asbestos containing material is in a bad condition, it will be removed or made safe. We will notify you in writing. REMEMBER: Asbestos does not pose a risk as long as it isn t damaged. Only moving or disturbing asbestos materials will release fibres which could be harmful to you and your family. MORE INFORMATION CONTACT US: OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS Phone: United Kingdom Accreditation Service UKAS, High Street, Feltham, Middlesex TW13 4UN LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 11 of 12

12 The Asbestos Removal Control Association ARCA House, 237 Branston Road, Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3BT LFHA Asbestos/your guide to asbestos v5 March 2010/AS Page 12 of 12

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