Asbestos. Speaker: Caroline Kirton

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1 Asbestos Speaker: Caroline Kirton 1

2 The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, come into effect on 28 th May 2012 in Northern Ireland. Regulation 10 requires every employer to ensure that adequate information, instruction and training is given to their employees who are exposed to or who are liable to be exposed to asbestos, or who supervises such employees. Health and Safety at Work Order (NI) 1978 requires that: Employers ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees and those affected by their work Employees should also be provided with adequate training to enable them to carry out their job. 2

3 Who would be likely to uncover asbestos? General Maintenance Staff Electricians Plumbers Gas Fitters Painters and Decorators Joiners Plasterers Demolition Workers Construction Workers Roofers Heating and Ventilation Engineers Telecommunication Engineers Fire and Burglar Alarm Installers Computer Installers Architects, Building Surveyors etc. Shop Fitters 3

4 What is Asbestos? It is estimated that asbestos causes over 4,000 deaths each year in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that 1 in 100 males aged 50 will die of mesothelima. Predictions say that by 2020 this figure will rise to 10,000 deaths each year. Asbestos related diseases are the largest occupational killers in the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland Asbestos related diseases kill between 50 and 100 individuals each year. 4

5 What is Asbestos? Asbestos forms in seams in rock and is mined from the earth. Asbestos has formed over millions of years and has crystallised under the influence of volcanic explosion No asbestos was ever mined in the U.K Widely used for its positive properties e.g: Versatile, Hardwearing, Good chemical, electrical and heat resistance, resistant to acids The term asbestos comes from the Greek word for unquenchable or inextinguishable 5

6 Asbestos Mining Commercial asbestos mining began in Quebec, Canada and the world s largest asbestos mine is located on the town of Asbestos, Quebec. Asbestos is still mined today and used in South America, Eastern Europe and Asia. In 2000 the following countries mined the following asbestos Russia 752,000 tonnes China 370,000 tonnes Canada 320,000 tonnes Brazil 209,000 tonnes Kazakhstan 179,000 tonnes South Africa 152,000 tonnes Once mined, asbestos can be manufactured into a number of other materials. 6

7 Main Types of Asbestos Types of Asbestos commercially exploited were: Chrysotile (white asbestos) Amosite(brown asbestos) Crocidolite(blue asbestos) Chrysotile is the most commonly encountered type of Asbestos All types of asbestos are classified as Category 1 Carcinogens. 7

8 Main Types of Asbestos White Asbestos in its natural state Brown Asbestos in its natural state Blue Asbestos in its natural state 8

9 Importation of Asbestos into the UK 6 Million tonnes of all types of asbestos was imported into the UK since the late 1880 s Peak in 1973 at approx. 195,000 Tonnes 1973 Import of Crocidolitevirtually ceased Down to 40,000 Tonnes in 1984 % 20,000 Tonnes in Import of Amosite virtually ceased In 1985 the use of brown and blue asbestos was banned in the UK. White asbestos was banned in

10 Asbestos Fibre Use in the UK (Approx Tonnes) Building cement products 52,500 43,000 Fire resistant insulating boards 18,500 14,500 Other insulation products (spray) 4, Floor tiles & Coverings 20,500 15,800 Friction materials 15,000 15,700 Jointing & Packings 9,000 10,000 Textile products 9,000 6,300 Fillers & Reinforcements 21,500 28,400 Moulded plastics & Battery cases 4,500 1,200 10

11 History of the Use of Asbestos The Ancient Greeks first noticed Asbestos around 2,000 years ago. The Greek s coined the term Asbestos meaning Unquenchable or Inextinguishable. Egyptians made funeral shrouds to retain the ashes 4000 BC added to clay pots as reinforcing Romans made napkins which could be easily cleansed by immersing in fire Bandages used in Crimean war 11

12 Qualities of Asbestos Incombustibility Strength fibres are stronger than steel Reinforcing & Binding Resistant to high temperatures Resistant to electric current Resistant to acids and alkalis Absorbs sound Flexibility Resistance to the elements and weather 12

13 Uses of Asbestos Lagging Lagging has been used widely in public buildings, factories and hospitals in the 60 s and 70 s. Asbestos content of lagging is %. Used as thermal insulation of pipes and boilers. Also used for insulation between floors One of the most dangerous materials containing asbestos. Disturbance of lagging or insulation releases fibres very easily. Removal of lagging must only be conducted by a licensed asbestos removal contractor 13

14 Uses of Asbestos Asbestos Insulated Boards (AIB) Found in all types of industrial, commercial, public and private buildings such as hotels, houses,flats, educational establishments etc Asbestos Insulated Boards often have a soft greyish appearance Very common in buildings constructed in the 1960 s and 1970 s Mainly used to provide structural fire protection, acoustic insulation, heat resistance, partitioning, as a non combustible core or lining for other products (e.g. doors, meter cupboards, ovens, domestic boiler casings) Also used for general building board (infill panels, bath panels, wall lining, canopies and porch linings) because of their resistance to moisture movement. 14

15 Uses of Asbestos Asbestos Insulated Boards (AIB) Asbestos Insulating Board typically contains 16-40% amosite(brown asbestos) or a mixture of amositeand chrysotile(white asbestos). If the asbestos insulated board is intact and in good condition the risk of release of fibres is very low. However if the asbestos insulated board is damaged or disturbed then the risk of the release of fibres is high. Removal of asbestos insulated board must only be conducted by a licensed asbestos removal contractor 15

16 Uses of Asbestos Ropes, Yarn and Cloth Some woven and spun materials. Can contain 100% Asbestos Yarns used in jointing and packing materials and heat/fire resisting gaskets and seals would contain asbestos. Also yarn used in caulking for brickwork; boilers and flue sealing Asbestos rope was widely used for the lagging of pipes. It was also used in plaited tubing as insulation for electric wire and cable. Asbestos containing cloth was used in fire protective clothing such as overalls, gloves and aprons. Old fire blankets and curtains contained asbestos - sometimes aluminized to reflect radiant heat. The risk of fibres being released is dependant on the structure of the containing material. For example a bonded gasket material is less likely to release fibres compared to an un-bonded woven material, especially if it is damaged or frayed. 16

17 Uses of Asbestos Millboard and Paper Millboard was used for general heat insulation and fire protection to appliances such as ovens. Between Crocidolite was prominently used in Millboard. Asbestos paper was used as fire-proof facing on wood fibre board and pipe insulation. It was also used in damp course on the underside of lino flooring and PVC tiles as well as roofing felt and cladding. Asbestos paper was commonly used as an insulation product for heaters or wrapped around pipes. Asbestos content can be up to 100% and is very fibrous due to the fact it is not highly bonded. 17

18 Uses of Asbestos Cement Asbestos Cement generally contains 10 15% of asbestos. It is bound in Portland cement or calcium silicate. Turners Asbestos Cement (NI) was established in Ballyclare, County Antrim in 1969 and by 1971 was manufacturing asbestos cement and employing 46. All three types of asbestos have been used in cement but Chrysotile was most commonly used due to its alkali resistance property. Asbestos Fibres are firmly bound within the material and therefore tight within the structure so generally not many fibres are released when damaged. However fibre release will increase if the material is sawn or drilled into. Asbestos cement is very fragile, it is dangerous to stand or exert to much pressure on structures such as roofing. 18

19 Uses of Asbestos Cement Asbestos cement roofs These are mainly made up of large sheets of corrugated asbestos cement; they are often found on industrial or farmyard buildings, or commonly found as roofs on garages and sheds. Asbestos wall cladding, downpipes and gutters. Shape and structure similar to roof sheeting, and is often found on walls/as walls of buildings with asbestos cement roofs. Sometimes attached at the end of cement roofs in warehouse type buildings. Asbestos cement flues This may be found in boiler systems (including domestic) air conditioning and ventilation systems. 19

20 Uses of Asbestos Bituminous Products Asbestos was used in the many Bitumen products up until The type of asbestos was Chrysotile. These were used as a binding agent to keep the matrix together. The concentration of asbestos was relatively low Due to the sticky nature of the product the chances of fibrerelease are low even when the material is disturbed. The most common use of asbestos bitumen is in sink pads which were used under stainless steel sinks to reduce the noise caused by running water. Asbestos bitumen was also used in roofing felt, tile adhesive, damp courses, flashings and bitumen mastics. 20

21 Uses of Asbestos Textured coatings Asbestos textured coatings are more commonly known as Artex (applied mainly on ceilings) Textured coatings contain a small amount of asbestos (approx. 3-5% Chrysotile) Fibres can be released when textured coating is rubbed down. They must notbe power sanded. However fibres are not easily released as the asbestos is generally well bonded. An Asbestos license is not required to work with textured coatings however it is still dangerous to work with and guidance is required. The only definitive way of confirming that it is asbestos is to get it analysed by a specialised laboratory It is usually skimmed over or removed by wet scraping 21

22 Uses of Asbestos Sprayed coatings Asbestos Sprayed coatings were used for fire protection on structural steel. Also used as thermal and anti-condensation coating on the underside of roofs and the sides of buildings. Sprayed coatings contain up to 85% asbestos Even minor disturbance of sprayed coatings can release large quantities of asbestos fibres. Removal of asbestos sprayed coating must only be conducted by a licensed asbestos removal contractor. 22

23 Twin Towers World Trade centre was constructed in early 1970 s 5,000 tons of fireproofing that contained asbestos was used on the first 40 floors of the buildings. From floors 41 onward, no asbestos containing materials were planned After the attacks, a fact sheet produced by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health states: "Asbestos was a major material used in the construction of the World Trade Center. That asbestos is a constituent of the dust and debris. The long term effects of the World Trade Centre disaster is yet to be known. 23

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