What is an ACM or Asbestos Containing Material? It means any material or article that, as part of its design, contains asbestos – just 1% is enough.
This page is not here as a guide as to what to do with any ACM or Asbestos Containing Material for that you are advised to seek professional advice. The HSE produces a good leaflet on how to manage asbestos in building. Click here to download.
There are three main types of asbestos that can still be found in premises, commonly called ‘blue asbestos’ (crocidolite), ‘brown asbestos’ (amosite) and ‘white asbestos’ (chrysotile). All of them are dangerous carcinogens, but blue and brown asbestos are more hazardous than white. Despite their names, you cannot identify them just by their colour.
ACM or Asbestos Containing Material was banned in 1999, therefore any building built prior to this date or refurbished may contain asbestos. As long as the asbestos containing material (ACM) is in good condition, and is not being or going to be disturbed or damaged, there is negligible risk. But if it is disturbed or damaged, it can become a danger to health, because people may breathe in any asbestos fibres released into the air.
Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) can be found in many common areas including artex, asphalt roofing, lagging, insulation boards, bitumen, carpets, tiles, guttering and many more! The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) lists several more examples and which type might be found within them – click here.
Always seek professional help with asbestos removal. All commercial buildings must have an asbestos register that is kept up to date.
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