If asbestos is not handled properly, it releases tiny fibres that can cause serious diseases if someone breathes them in.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. It was used in a lot of building materials because it resists fire and heat.
If your property is more than 15 years old it's likely to have some asbestos. This is not generally a problem, as asbestos is usually safe unless it's damaged or is disturbed, but it must be treated with caution.
Dos and don'ts
How to dispose of asbestos
Asbestos is classed as 'special waste'. You have to dispose of it separately from normal household waste.
Hiring a contractor
If you hire a contractor to do this, you're responsible for ensuring they:
- have a licence to take down, remove and dispose of asbestos-containing materials
- give you a copy of the Special Waste Consignment Note from the Environment Agency, for each load of waste
Disposing of asbestos yourself
If you want to dispose of your asbestos yourself:
- hire a special skip
- you don't need to be a registered carrier, as long as it's your own waste
Steps to avoid contaminating your vehicle
Take the following steps to ensure your car is not contaminated:
- Spray sheets of asbestos cement with water
- Double-wrap or double-bag the asbestos with heavy-duty polythene
- Secure the wrapping with tape
- Make sure other people in the vehicle don't have access to the asbestos