Asbestos containing material isn’t a cause for concern if it’s in good condition and in a place where it's unlikely to be disturbed.
However, when asbestos materials age or become damaged (for example, when drilled, sawn, scrubbed or sanded), they can release toxic fibres into the air. Breathing in asbestos fibres is dangerous and can lead to asbestos related lung diseases, including cancers, which can take many years to develop.
If you have any concerns about the presence of asbestos in your home or workplace, the best place to get advice from is the Health and Safety Executive.
Asbestos waste dumped on public land Toggle accordion
Use our fly-tipping form to report dumped asbestos waste.
Asbestos in good condition or slightly damaged Toggle accordion
Asbestos-containing materials in good condition that cannot easily be damaged are often best left where they are, because removing them can lead to higher levels of fibre release. You should check their condition occasionally to make sure they have deteriorated or become damaged.
Asbestos-containing materials that are slightly damaged can sometimes be repaired by sealing or enclosing the material. It is best to ask for advice.
Badly damaged or deteriorating asbestos Toggle accordion
Badly damaged or deteriorating asbestos-containing materials should be removed. Some materials (such as sprayed asbestos, asbestos lagging or insulation board) must always be removed by a licensed contractor.
More information about asbestos is available from the Health and Safety Executive.
Asbestos in the home Toggle accordion
Properties built after 1999 are unlikely to contain any asbestos anywhere in the building. In earlier buildings, asbestos is most likely to be found in asbestos cement in a variety of locations and uses:
- garage or shed roofs
- shed and garage wall panels
- insulation boards, infill panels and partitions
- the side of bath panels
Asbestos is usually safe unless it’s damaged or disturbed, so it is best to leave it alone. Always seek advice before thinking of removing it, and do not try to remove asbestos lagging, spray coatings or large areas of insulation board yourself as these materials can only be safely removed by a licensed contractor.
Asbestos cement can be disposed of free of charge by householders at Frizlands Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre. Contact the site in advance to make sure there is sufficient space to take your asbestos.
What to do if you find asbestos Toggle accordion
The City of London operates a household asbestos collection and disposal service for residents of our borough.
Or call 020 7332 3433 to arrange a collection.
- don’t panic if you think you have asbestos in your home - it’s usually only a problem if it’s disturbed
- do treat asbestos with care
- don’t drill, saw or disturb materials that contain asbestos
- do seek advice if you think you have a problem with asbestos in your home
Council tenants concerned about asbestos should contact us:
020 8592 7388
Asbestos at work Toggle accordion
Asbestos is the greatest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK, accounting for more than 3,000 deaths a year. About a quarter of these deaths occur in the building and maintenance trades.
The Health and Safety Executive publishes a range of leaflets that provide more information on asbestos in the workplace.