The British Lung Foundation have released the results of a survey which shows that 45% of home-owners have no idea that asbestos was used as a building material. This is despite the material being used throughout the 20th century in floor tiles, ceiling coatings and as the liner of boiler cupboards.
While asbestos is no longer used, those who are involved in house maintenance or demolition can be exposed to it. Any exposure is unlikely to show up as a health issue until around 30 years later.
The BLF have estimated that 14m homes in the UK have been built using the material and warn people that it is best to leave any asbestos undisturbed. They found that 65% of those questioned could not identify asbestos in their homes and 77% had never received any information on how to deal with it should they find it.
BLF say that if the home-owner suspect it in their homes they should seek advice from the council or a certified removal firm. They point out that no-one should attempt to remove insulation boards, lagging or sprayed coatings without having it looked at by a health and safety executive contractor.