Is There Asbestos In Your Ceiling Or Wall Plaster?
If your property was built before the year 2000 it is possible that your ceiling and walls may contain asbestos. This is because asbestos was used extensively in various applications until 1999 after which it was fully prohibited from use in the UK.
Asbestos is an effective fire-resistant and insulating material that was widely and cheaply available.
It was commonly mixed with plaster and coatings to provide additional strength and fire protection to walls and ceilings.
Textured coatings on ceilings and walls, asbestos insulating board panels and tiles where commonly used in a wide variety of buildings including schools, universities, warehouses, hospitals and offices.
Are Asbestos in Ceilings and Plaster Walls Dangerous?
Asbestos is a fibrous material made up of microscopic fibres that cannot be seen, smelt or tasted. If these fibres are disturbed and become airborne there is a possibility that they may be breathed in by anyone who may be occupying the building.
This can become a serious danger to your health as once they’re inside your body the fibres can lodge and become trapped in the lungs and other areas.
These trapped fibres can cause serious life threatening diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
If, however, the walls or ceilings that contain asbestos remain undamaged and is in good condition then the material is not generally considered to be harmful as it will not readily release fibres into the air.
It is possible that as plaster ages it can break down and become friable which may release fibres into your environment.
If you plan to carry out any renovation works, remove decorative coating, re-plaster, drill a ceiling tile or undertake any other refurbishment works then it is crucial you take steps to mitigate the risk of generating airborne asbestos fibres.
It’s important to note that the latency period can be 5 - 20 years after asbestos exposure for symptoms to develop, and those who have been exposed to fibres on a regular basis are the most likely to develop an asbestos-related disease.
Living with an asbestos ceiling is not necessarily harmful.
Asbestos only becomes harmful when the material is disturbed and fibres are released into the air, such as when the ceiling is being decorated or repaired.
If you have asbestos ceiling panels or textured coating that you suspect may contains asbestos, or just want peace of mind, please contact Anthony Asbestos Consultancy to have your ceiling sampled and tested.