Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of long, thin, crystalline fibres. It is also a hazardous material and can be very damaging to human health and the environment. As it does not break down easily, asbestos remains in the environment for a long time.
If breathed in, asbestos fibres can cause serious lung diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis.
People most at risk from exposure to asbestos are those who are liable to disturb it during their daily work. This includes the main construction trades and maintenance workers, such as electricians, joiners, plasterers, roofers, heating and ventilation engineers and surveyors.
You may have to comply with legal duties relating to asbestos if you own or operate a building, if you work in construction, demolition or building maintenance, or if you dispose of asbestos waste.
This guide describes how to comply with asbestos legislation that relates to environmental management. It explains how to identify asbestos and gives information on working with and disposing of asbestos.