The following information provides advice to
householders on how to remove and dispose of asbestos cement.
It is not aimed at businesses who have additional duties and
responsibilities under health and safety
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring
fibrous materials. The use of asbestos is now restricted but
it was previously used in many building products, domestic
appliances and household goods because of its strength and heat
Where are you likely to find asbestos?
- asbestos cement sheeting e.g. garage and shed roofs, rainwater
- lagging for boilers and pipe-work
- textured wall and ceiling coatings
- insulating boards e.g. airing cupboard doors
The list above is not exhaustive.
NB. It is recommended that householders only remove
asbestos cement. All other asbestos types should be removed
by a licensed asbestos removal contractor only.
Asbestos Cement Advice
Asbestos cement is a well bonded, sheet building material,
commonly used for roofing and outbuildings such as garages.
Care must be taken not to confuse it with asbestos insulation
board which is similar in appearance, but much more hazardous since
it is softer. The following advice applies to asbestos cement
only; other types of asbestos are usually more hazardous and
require more stringent precautions, and specialised handling and
disposal by a licensed asbestos removal contractor.
Who Can Remove Asbestos Cement?
Many builders can remove asbestos cement without needing
licensed persons. They must, however, adhere to safe working
methods and make provision for proper disposal.
You must plan the job, obtain materials and equipment and make
arrangements for disposal. Most jobs can be done relatively
safely if you pay attention to detail and follow the advice
Please Note: This advice is to help minimise the risk
involved in the removal of small quantities of asbestos material
and is not intended to be relied on as providing a safe system of
work, therefore, the Council accepts no liability for any loss or
damage caused. Visit the
health and safety executive website
for further information on asbestos.
Breathing asbestos dust is dangerous.
Any work on asbestos cement may generate asbestos dust and we
advise that the following precautions are taken to minimise the
- Plan the work so that the asbestos material
is handled as little as possible, in order to minimise the release
- Avoid creating dust from asbestos
- Never sand down or wire-brush asbestos
- Do not use power tools on asbestos
- Avoid breaking asbestos cement.
- When working with asbestos cement it is
advisable to wear disposable overalls and face mask. Check
that they are suitable for use with asbestos. You can get
advice from safety equipment centres. After use, these should
be disposed of as asbestos waste.
- When removing asbestos cement thoroughly
wet it first, particularly around any fixings. Use an
ordinary hosepipe or watering can for this, not a high-powered
water jet. Add detergent to the water if possible.
- If dust is produced, ensure it is wet then
sweep it up. Do not hoover the dust as this may spread the
asbestos dust around your house.
- Asbestos cement waste must
be wrapped in a double layer of strong polythene and sealed with
parcel tape or similar. Sheets can be wrapped together if
they are not too heavy and can still be lifted.
- If fixings are difficult to undo, try to
cut them off rather than break the asbestos.
Disposal of Asbestos Cement
Free disposal of asbestos cement roof sheets is available for
at the Household Waste and
Recycling Centre on Walney Road next to the fire station.
This site (run by Cumbria County Council) will only allow four
sheets to be disposed of (or an equivalent amount) on any
day. More information can be found on the
County Council’s website
Householders should telephone the site on 01229 831564 to
confirm when they can take the sheets for disposal as storage
capacity for asbestos is restricted.
Using a Van or Twin Axle Trailer
There is a
in operation at the Household Waste and Recycling
Centre in Barrow. This means that if a van or a twin axle
trailer (up to 3 meters long) is used to carry waste a permit will
Please ring 0845 055 1118 for any queries about permits for
vehicles/trailers transporting waste to the site.
Further information is available from:
The information provided on this page is available to download
in leaflet format here. (PDF kb)