The type of survey will vary during the lifespan of the premises and several may be needed over time. A management survey will be required during the normal occupation and use of the building to ensure continued management of the ACMs in situ.
A refurbishment or demolition survey will be necessary when the building (or part of it) is to be upgraded, refurbished or demolished. It is probable that at larger premises a mixture of survey types will be appropriate, eg a boiler house due for demolition will require a refurbishment/demolition survey, while offices at the same site would have a management survey. In later years refurbishment surveys may be required in rooms or floors which are being upgraded.
In sectors where there are large numbers of properties (eg domestic houses) or internal units (eg hotels), only particular rooms may be specified for upgrading, eg kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. Refurbishment surveys would only be necessary in these locations.
Asbestos Management Survey (formerly Asbestos Survey Type 1 and Type 2)
A management survey is a non intrusive survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition.
Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition Survey (formerly Asbestos Type 3 Survey)
A refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned.
The survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. A refurbishment and demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, eg when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out or for plant removal or dismantling
The Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012)
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012(CAR) introduced an explicit duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises. This important legislation tackles the biggest occupational health killer in the UK – asbestos-related disease.
The Duty to Manage
If you own, occupy, manage or have responsibilities for non-domestic premises, which may contain asbestos, you will either have: legal duty to manage the risk from this material: or A duty to co-operate with whoever manages that risk.
The person responsible for a building (The Duty Holder) is required to manage the risk from asbestos by:
- Taking reasonable steps to find asbestos on their premises and assess the condition of these materials.
- Presuming that materials do contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not;
- Preparing a record of the location and condition of asbestos, or presumed asbestos, materials and assess the risks from them.
- Preparing and implementing a plan to manage those risks.
- Providing information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to disturb them.
Historic usage of asbestos
Items made of asbestos were held in so great an esteem as to be of equal value with gold; none but emperors and kings had napkins made of it. Supposedly, Charlemagne had a tablecloth made of asbestos. Cleaning an asbestos cloth was simple- it was simply thrown into a fire. Some antiquaries have believed that ancients made shrouds of asbestos, wherein they burnt the bodies of their kings, in order to preserve only their ashes, and prevent their being mixed with those of wood, or other combustible materials commonly used in building funeral pyres.
Others assert that the ancients used asbestos to make perpetual wicks for sepulchral lamps. In more recent centuries, asbestos was indeed used for this purpose. Although asbestos causes skin to itch upon contact, ancient literature indicates that it was prescribed for diseases of the skin, and particularly for the itch. It is possible that they used the term asbestos for alumen plumosum, because the two terms have often been confused throughout history.
Asbestos fibers were once used in automobile brake pads and shoes. Since the mid-1990s, a majority of brake pads, new or replacement, have been manufactured with Aramid fiber (Twaron or Kevlar) linings (same material used in bulletproof vests).
Kent, the first filtered cigarette on the market, used crocidolite asbestos in its “Micronite” filter from 1952 to 1956.
Modern usage of Asbestos
Chrysotile is the form of asbestos from the serpentine group that has been used commercially.
In the United States, chrysotile has been the most commonly used type of asbestos. Chrysotile is often present in a wide variety of materials, including but not limited to
- Sheetrock taping
- Mud and texture coats
- Vinyl floor tiles, sheeting, adhesives and ceiling tiles
- Plasters and stuccos
- Roofing tars, felts, siding, and shingles
- Transite panels, siding, countertops, and pipes
- Acoustical ceilings
- Brake pads and shoes
- Clutch plates
- Stage curtains
- Fire blankets
- Interior fire doors
- Fireproof clothing for firefighters
Amosite and crocidolite were used in many products until the early 1980s. The use of all types of asbestos in the amphibole group was banned in the mid-1980s. These products were mainly
- Low density insulation board and ceiling tiles
- Asbestos-cement sheets and pipes for construction, casing for water and electrical/telecommunication services
- Thermal and chemical insulation (i.e., fire rated doors, limpet spray, lagging and gaskets)