Inline Eco Asbestos Services Cork

About Asbestos

Asbestos Removal Specialists | Based in Cork City

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring mineral fibres that are strong and resistant to heat and chemicals. In the past, asbestos was commonly used for insulation and fireproofing, as well as a component in other building materials. There are three main types of asbestos found in Ireland – chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos), and crocidolite (blue asbestos).

Where is Asbestos found in Industrial Properties?

Inside:

  1. Sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls, beams and columns
  2. Asbestos cement water tank
  3. Loose fill insulation
  4. Lagging on boilers and pipes
  5. AIB ceiling tiles
  6. Toilet seat and cistern
  7. AIB partition walls
  8. AIB panels in fire doors
  9. Asbestos rope seals, gaskets and paper
  10. Vinyl floor tiles
  11. AIB around boilers
  12. Textiles e.g. fire blankets

Outside:

  1. Asbestos cement roof
  2. Asbestos cement panels
  3. Asbestos cement gutters and downpipes
  4. Soffits – AIB or asbestos cement
  5. Asbestos cement flue


AIB = Asbestos Insulating Board

Where is Asbestos found in Residential Properties?

Inside:

A. Asbestos cement Water tank
B. Pipe lagging
C. Loose fill insulation
D. Textured decorative coating e.g. artex
E. AIB ceiling tiles
F. AIB bath panel
G. Toilet seat and cistern
H. AIB behind fuse box
I. AIB airing cupboard and/or sprayed insulation coating boiler
J. AIB partition wall
K. AIB interior window panel
L.  AIB around boiler
M. Vinyl floor tiles
N. AIB behind fire

Outside:

O. Gutters and Asbestos cement downpipes
P. Soffits – AIB or asbestos cement
Q. AIB exterior window panel
R. Asbestos cement roof
S. Asbestos cement panels
T. Roofing felt

AIB = Asbestos Insulating Board

Why is asbestos dangerous?

  • Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year, this is  more than the number of people killed on the road.
  • Around 20 tradesman die each week as a result of past exposure
  • However, asbestos is not just a problem of the past. It can be present today in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000.

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself now.

Asbestos can cause the following fatal and serious diseases:

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract (peritoneum). It is almost exclusively related to asbestos exposure and by the time it is diagnosed, it is almost always fatal.

Asbestos-related lung cancer

Asbestos-related lung cancer is the same as (looks the same as) lung cancer caused by smoking and other causes. It is estimated that there is around one lung cancer for every mesothelioma death.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a serious scarring condition of the lung that normally occurs after heavy exposure to asbestos over many years. This condition can cause progressive shortness of breath, and in severe cases can be fatal.

Pleural thickening

Pleural thickening is generally a problem that happens after heavy asbestos exposure. The lining of the lung (pleura) thickens and swells. If this gets worse, the lung itself can be squeezed, and can cause shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest.

Common materials that may contain asbestos

Asbestos can be found in a many of the common materials used in the building trade. Some of these materials should only be worked on by an Insured contractor.

Inline Eco Asbestos Services Cork
Release of loose fill asbestos fibres

Loose fill asbestos

Where do you find this?

This was used to insulate industrial and domestic premises so can be found in between cavity walls, under floorboards and in loft spaces.

What does this look like?

This is a loose, fluffy insulation material (similar to candyfloss), which may be blue-grey or whitish in colour.

How dangerous is this?

Probably the most dangerous asbestos-containing material. Loose fill is made up of pure asbestos and if disturbed can release large amounts of fibres into the air, where they can be breathed in.

Lagged pipe in wall cavity
Amosite pipe lagging in very poor condition
Asbestos lagging on hot water pipes
Damaged asbestos pipe lagging

Lagging and insulation

Where do you find this?

Mostly found in or on heating systems such as around boilers or calorifiers and around pipework.

What does this look like?

This type of asbestos has many different appearances but is mostly a fibrous material which flakes and powders easily. When applied to pipes it is often covered in a protective coating (or painted) which can be any colour and may make it more difficult to identify.

How dangerous is this?

This is one of the most dangerous materials containing asbestos. You are more at risk from breathing in asbestos fibres because disturbance of the lagging or insulation releases fibres very easily into the air that you breathe.

Spray coated panelling
Spray coated roofing sheets
Under roof spray coating
Spray coating as filler

Sprayed coatings

Where do you find this?

Insulation on the underside of roofs and sometimes sides of buildings and warehouses. Also used as fire protection on steel and reinforced concrete beams/columns and on underside of floors.

It was very easy to overspray or get a ‘splash back’ from the equipment used to apply this so there is likely to be debris around the sprayed area.

What does this look like?

Usually white or grey in colour with a rough surface, although they may have been painted.

How dangerous is this?

This contains up to 85% asbestos and breaks up very easily. It is one of the most dangerous materials containing asbestos. Even minor disturbance of sprayed coatings can release large quantities of asbestos fibres into the air where they can be breathed in.

AIB ceiling tile
AIB soffit under roof
AIB cabinet
Damaged perforated ceiling tile

Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB)

Where do you find this?

Asbestos Insulating Board was commonly used as fireproofing material but it had many other uses such as:

  • partition walls
  • fireproofing panels in fire doors
  • lift shaft linings
  • ceiling tiles
  • soffits
  • panels below windows

What does this look like?

Normal building items such as wall panels boards, ceiling tiles and plasterboard. It is difficult to tell the difference between asbestos insulating board items and non-asbestos materials.

How dangerous is this?

Work on any type of asbestos can be dangerous. 

Asbestos fire blanket
Asbestos flash guards in fuse box
Toilet cistern containing asbestos reinforced materials
Asbestos containing vinyl floor tiles

Floor tiles, textiles and composites

Where do you find this?

Asbestos floor tiles were once a popular choice for flooring, and you will often find old asbestos floor tiles hidden under carpets.

Textiles can be found in fuse boxes behind the actual fuse. Old fire blankets and heat resistant gloves can also be made out of asbestos textiles.

Asbestos composites can be toilet cisterns and seats, window sills, and bath panels.

Asbestos paper was used for lining under tiles and inside metal cladding.

What does this look like?

These asbestos-containing materials are not very distinctive from what is used now. To make sure we recommend you ask the owners about how long they’ve had certain things or look for a trade name. You should be able to look up this trade name on the internet to find out more about it.

How dangerous is this?

Work with any type of asbestos can be dangerous. 

Asbestos textured coating on wall
Asbestos textured coating (artex) on ceiling
Damaged asbestos textured coating around pipework

Textured coatings

Where do you find this?

Textured coatings were used to produce decorative finishes on ceilings and walls. In the past, they have had various trade names such as ‘Artex’.

What does this look like?

This is dependent on the particular decorative finish required ie peaks or patterns. They are hard and were originally white in colour but have often been painted over.

How dangerous is this?

Work on any type of asbestos can be dangerous

Asbestos cement

Where do you find asbestos cement?
Asbestos cement is mainly a mixture of chrysotile (white asbestos) and cement, moulded and compressed to produce a range of asbestos cement products. You can find asbestos cement in many places inside and outside buildings such as:

Asbestos cement roofs
These are mainly made up of large sheets of corrugated asbestos cement; they are often found on industrial or farmyard buildings, but can also be found as roofs on garages and sheds. They are often covered in moss and other growths as they’ve been there for many years.

Asbestos wall cladding
This has a shape and structure similar to roof sheeting, and is often found on walls/as walls of buildings with asbestos cement roofs.

Asbestos downpipes and gutters
These are often attached at the end of cement roofs in warehouse type buildings.

Asbestos cement flues
These may be found in boiler systems (including domestic) air conditioning and ventilation systems.

Asbestos cement and pitch fibre water and sewer pipes
Drainage pipes, such as water and sewage pipes, were often made of pitch fibre. This is a lightweight and easy to handle material, made of wood cellulose impregnated with
inert coal tar pitch. Asbestos cement was added to strengthen the material.

What does it look like?
Asbestos cement is just ordinary cement mixed with asbestos, in some cases asbestos can make up over a third of the cement. It is a hard, grey material which was moulded and compressed to produce some of the materials listed above.

Asbestos fire blanket
Asbestos flash guards in fuse box
Toilet cistern containing asbestos reinforced materials
Asbestos containing vinyl floor tiles

Risks from Asbestos to the Health of People

Exposure to asbestos fibres can be extremely hazardous to human health. The main risk of exposure comes from releasing fibres into the air, which can occur when asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are damaged, disturbed, or deteriorated. If these fibres are inhaled, they can lead to the development of asbestos-related diseases such as cancer of the lungs and chest. It can take anywhere from 15-60 years for these diseases to develop, and they can be fatal.

Places Asbestos can be Found

Asbestos can potentially be found in any building constructed or refurbished before the year 2000, including residential, commercial, and public buildings. It was widely used in various construction materials, including flooring, walls, ceilings, roofs, heating systems, and equipment. Therefore, a detailed survey by a competent person is required to identify where asbestos is present in a building. If you suspect your property may contain asbestos, it is important to contact a professional asbestos removal company to conduct an asbestos survey and safely remove any ACMs.

Asbestos FAQS

Asbestos and products containing asbestos are now banned from being used, reused, sold, or supplied in any form. However, materials or products that contain asbestos and were already in use or installed before the ban may remain in place until the end of their service life or until they are disposed of. Despite the prohibition, there is still a risk of exposure to asbestos in various workplaces, including residential properties undergoing refurbishment, due to the extensive use of asbestos and ACMs in the past.

Buildings constructed or refurbished before the year 2000, whether industrial, commercial, public, or residential, may contain asbestos. Asbestos was widely utilized in various construction materials for several purposes, such as flooring, walls, ceilings, roofs, heating systems, and equipment. To identify where asbestos is present in a building, a competent person or company must conduct a detailed survey.

We at Inline Eco can arrange all requirements with identification of Asbestos with our competent surveyors

Types of Asbestos Surveys on our website for more information

A management asbestos survey is to manage asbestos-containing materials during the normal occupation and use of premises and refurbishment/demolition asbestos survey (RDAS) is required where the premises, or part of it, needs upgrading, refurbishment or demolition.

All work involving the removal or abatement of asbestos must be undertaken by competent individuals who possess the necessary training, experience, insurance and knowledge suitable for the type of work being conducted. This should include practical training, as asbestos awareness training alone is not adequate.

The cost of asbestos removal can vary depending on various factors, such as the quantity and location of the asbestos-containing materials, the level of risk involved in their removal, and the complexity of the project. Asbestos removal is generally considered to be more expensive than other types of hazardous material removal due to the specialized equipment and expertise required to safely remove and dispose of asbestos. However, the cost of not removing asbestos can be much greater, as it can lead to serious health problems for those exposed to its fibers. It’s important to obtain a quote from a licensed and experienced asbestos removal contractor to determine the cost of the project.