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UK Asbestos Regulations

Asbestos has been one of the most discussed health topics of the last few decades. This is due to the fact that asbestos emits invisible fibres that can have harmful effects on anyone who comes into contact with them for prolonged periods.

Research has shown that asbestos fibres are the catalyst for many diseases including Lung Cancer, Pleural Thickening and Mesothelioma. With this research in mind, and conclusive proof that asbestos kills, many governments from around the world have hastened to ban the usage of asbestos in any form. Many laws and legislations have been put in place to ensure that asbestos is not imported manufactured or used.

Like other governments from around the world, the UK government has taken steps to prohibit the usage of asbestos. Many laws have been passed for this purpose.

Below are some examples of the laws approved by the UK Government against the usage and import of asbestos into the country in any form.

- Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations (1983)
- Asbestos (Prohibition) Laws (1999)
- Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations (2002)
- Control of Asbestos Regulations (2006)

The Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations were put in place in 1983. The key features of these regulations being:

- To insure that all asbestos related insulating work is carried out by licensed asbestos contractors. This clause was added in 1998

- The contractors need to file an application at least 14 days prior to the day work is to commence for approval. The law was amended to include this clause in 2003

- The contractors need to follow certain terms and conditions which must be in accordance with the approved code of practice

- The Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations was replaced by Control of Asbestos Regulation in 2006

The Asbestos (Prohibition) Laws were implemented in 1999 and have the following key features:

- This law was actually accepted in 1985 and banned the use and import of Blue Asbestos (Crocodilite) and Brown Asbestos (Amosite).

- In 1999, this law was modified to include the prohibited usage of White Asbestos (Chrysotile).

- In 2002 the import of White Asbestos (Chrysotile) was banned and included in the law.

- In 2006 this law was replaced by Control of Asbestos Regulations.

2002 saw the implementation of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations. The following points offer a general overview of these regulations:

- These regulations set a limit to the amount of asbestos a person may be exposed to
- Conditions need to be completely controlled when work with asbestos is to take place. This was implemented in 1987
- The asbestos based materials in the construction need to be properly recognized
- In 1993 it was made law to replace asbestos based materials whenever and wherever possible
- In 2002 it was made necessary to properly manage and identify all asbestos related materials
- In 2006 this law was replaced by The Control of Asbestos Regulations

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 is the most recent and the most comprehensive collection of regulations approved by the UK government to date in their fight against asbestos related deaths.

Submitted by:

John Hill

CMC asbestos surveys are specialist asbestos surveyors and risk management consultants with over 14 years experience in asbestos surveys, management and removal.


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