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Asbestos Management Division Disabled Access Division Project Management Division

Asbestos Uses Chart General Guide


Use Content Remarks
Sprayed Coating
Thermal and acoustic insulation, and fire protection products Sprayed coatings contain up to 85% asbestos.  A mixture of asbestos types was used until 1974.  Chrysotile was also used as a coating on top of other sprayed asbestos
  • Applications ceased in 1974

  • Extremely friable – high potential for fibre release.

  • Repair and removal must only be carried out by a licensed contractor.

  • Example of use: sprayed on structural steelwork

Thermal insulation of pipes, boilers, pressure vessels, pre-formed pipe sections, slabs, tape, rope, corrugated paper, quilts, felts and blankets Asbestos content varies:  100% in asbestos blankets, felts, etc.  15% in magnesium carbonate insulation with an asbestos surface coat, 6-8% in calcium silicate slabs.  All types of asbestos used
  • Asbestos lagging is unlikely to be found in buildings constructed after 1975.

  •  Potential for fibre release unless sealed.

  • Potential increases if material is disturbed or damaged.

  • Removal must be carried out by a licensed contractor.

  • Widely used for pipe and boiler lagging, and insulation between floors.

Insulating Boards
Fire protection, thermal and acoustic insulation, general building work Common trade name e.g. ‘Asbestolux’.  Insulating boards contain 16-40% amosite, or mixture of amosite and chrysotile.  Crocidolite was used for some boards up to 1965
  • Widely used up to mid-1970s.

  • Work on Insulating board can give rise to very high levels of fibre.

  • Likely to cause dust if very friable, broke, abraded, drilled or sawed.  

  •  Removal should be undertaken by a licensed contractor.

  • Widely used in all types of industrial, commercial, public and private building.

  • Used widely in ducts, as fire-breaks, infill panels, partitions, ceiling tiles, roof underlays, wall linings, bath panels, etc  

Ropes and Yarns
Lagging, jointing and packing materials, heat/fire resistant gaskets and seals, caulking in brickwork, boiler and flue sealing Asbestos content approx. 100%.  All types of asbestos have been used up to 1970.  Since then only Chrysotile has been used
  • Fibre may be released when large quantities of unbonded material are stored or handled.

  • Caulking, etc. in situ is not likely to  release fibres.

  • Removal should be undertaken by a licensed contractor

Jointing and packing, gaskets, thermal insulation and lagging, including fire blankets, mattresses and protective curtains, gloves, aprons, overalls, etc. Asbestos content approx. 100%.  All types of asbestos have been used, mostly Chrysotile
  • Uncoated products not highly bonded and liable to release fires when subject to abrasion or wear.  Can be a hazard when handled

  • Removal should be undertaken by a licensed contractor

Asbestos cement products
Profiled sheets, roofing, wall cladding and weather boarding. Semi -compressed flat sheet and partition board.  Fully compressed flat sheet and partition board.  Tiles and slates. Preformed moulded products, cisterns and tanks, drains, sewer pipes, rainwater  goods, flue pipes, fencing, roofing components, cable troughs and conduits, ventilators, ducts, window boxes, etc. Asbestos content 10-15% bound in a matrix of Portland cement or calcium silicate.  All three types have been used.  Crocidolite between 1950 and 1969, and Amosite from 1945 to at least 1976, but mainly Chrysotile
  • Widely used in many types of buildings

  • Asbestos fibres are firmly bound and only released if the material is mechanically damaged or deteriorates with age.

  • Cleaning weathered cement has the potential to release fibres.

  • Care should be taken to prevent accidents from falling through fragile asbestos cement roofs.

  • Removal may require a licensed contractor

  • Can be pained to seal, prevent warping and reduce surface deterioration

Asbestos bitumen products
Roofing felts, damp-proof courses, semi-rigid roofing, gutter linings and flashings and coatings on metals. Chrysotile fibre or asbestos paper (approx. 100% asbestos) in bitumen
  • Fibre release unlikely during normal use.

  • Felt and damp-proof courses can become brittle and break up with age.

  • Removal may require a licensed contractor

  • These products must not be burnt after removal.  Asbestos may be released from coatings during fire.

Flooring materials
Floor tiles and backing for PVC flooring. Thermoplastic floor tiles – up to 25% asbestos.  PVC and unbacked PVC flooring – normally less than 10% Chrysotile.  Asbestos-paper backed PVC flooring – paper backing approx. 100% Chrysotile
  • Fibre release unlikely under normal conditions of use but is possible when material is cut, or flooring particularly when paper backing is removed.

  • Removal may require a licensed contractor

  • When removal is necessary, flooring should be lifted carefully, and any dust dampened and collected.

  • Waste material must not be removed with a power sander.

Textured coatings and paints
Coatings on walls and ceilings Asbestos content 3-5% Chrysotile
  • Potential for fibre release when dry mixes are prepared or when old coating is rubbed down.

  • Materials must not be power sanded or scraped off dry

  • Materials must be pre-wetted by soaking with water.

  • Other may require treatment with paint stripper before removal.

  • Wet material must be placed in plastic sacks (double-bagged).

  • Supply and application has been prohibited since 1988, but still widely in place, e.g. Artex.

Mastics, sealants, putties and adhesives
Asbestos may be included in these products Asbestos content 0.5% - 2%
  • Potential for fibre release on sanding of hardened material.

  • Sanding with power tools should be avoided.

  • Appropriate precautions should be taken when working with these materials.

Reinforced plastics
PVC panels and cladding, and reinforcement for domestic goods Variable, mostly Chrysotile
  • Unlikely to release fibres during use but cutting with power tools should be avoided.

Wall plugging compound
Wall fixings Asbestos content greater than 90%.  Products are made up from loose asbestos and cotton fibre with plaster dust


 Domestic appliances
Use Content

Formerly used in a variety of appliances for heat insulation:

Hairdryers, fan and radiant heaters, toasters, washing machines, tumble dryers, spin dryers, dish washers, refrigerators and freezers

Variable asbestos content approaching 100% in millboard, asbestos paper and compressed asbestos panels
Cookers Paper, element formers, brake pads, compressed fibre gaskets and seals, rubberised or other polymer gaskets and seals
Simmering mats Insulating board, fire cement, compressed fibre seals, rubberised or other polymer seals
Oven gloves, fire blankets Millboard
Catalytic gas heaters Paper, millboard and asbestos cement
Gas warm-air heaters Textiles
Boilers, pipework Compressed asbestos fibre panels, sometimes covered by a wire or glass fibre mesh
Electric warm-air and storage heaters Aluminium backed paper, cloth and insulating board. Asbestos / plaster with or without a surface fibre layer
Radiators ‘Caposil’ insulating blocks, insulating board, paper , string compressed fibre washers, rubberised or other polymer-branded washers, String, washers


Company Registration Number 5384633

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