Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals made of microscopic fibres. Before its dangers were known, asbestos was often used in buildings for insulation, flooring and roofing and sprayed on ceilings and walls. It is now banned in the UK. Buildings constructed before the year 2000 may still have asbestos in them. If the asbestos-containing materials inside these buildings remain intact, they pose very little risk.
It’s only when these materials are damaged or disturbed that tiny asbestos fibres can be released into the air and breathed into your lungs.
Detecting asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in homes and commercial buildings prior to demolition or renovation is critical to prevent asbestos exposure. Currently, asbestos detection is limited to accredited lab-based analysis such as polarised light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction. Lab-based tests are costly and can become even more expensive if a quick turnaround is required.