Asbestos: Dispelling the myths surrounding a hidden killer which threatens us all

Asbestos: Dispelling 3 common myths

What does asbestos mean to you?

For the vast majority of people it’s just a building material from the past, something they may know is dangerous, but something they rarely – if ever – think about.

But what if we were to tell you that you are surrounded by asbestos, that despite being banned more than 20 years ago, it can be found in many of our public buildings, including the office you work in, the hospital you visit and the school you dropped your child off at only this morning?

As Global Asbestos Awareness Week gets underway today, Saturday, April 1, we want to use it as opportunity to dispel some common myths and raise awareness of the hidden killer which continues to threaten us all.

Myth 1: Asbestos is a thing of the past

While the use of asbestos was banned in new buildings in the UK in 1999 it is still a common feature in buildings right across the UK.

It was used extensively in buildings in the years immediately after the Second World War, when demand for new infrastructure was at its height. As it was cheap and had many attractive qualities, it was used in many public buildings and even in new homes.

Much of the asbestos which was used at the time still remains inside those buildings, posing a significant risk to health, particularly as those buildings start to age.

Myth 2: Mesothelioma only affects older people

Sadly, this just isn’t true.

Mesothelioma, the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres, can affect anyone of any age, at any time.

Through our work with Mesothelioma UK, the national charity which does extraordinary work to support people and families affected by this terrible disease, we know that the lives of many young people are tragically cut short as a result.

It is true that some people have a higher risk of a exposure to the fibres as a direct result of the work they do, so people in the construction industry, including carpenters, plumbers and roofers should take particular care.

But we are also aware of a number of teachers who have been directly affected by mesothelioma due to asbestos still being a common feature in many schools.

Myth 3: Asbestos isn’t used in houses

Wrong again!

Any home built before 1999 should be checked, as it was used widely in new housing, particularly in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Commonly used in roof spaces, around pipework and boilers and often in ceilings and panelling, asbestos can be found anywhere and could put you and your family at risk if it is damaged accidentally and the fibres released into the air.

It’s particularly important to check for the presence of asbestos if you are planning any refurbishment or renovation work, whether that’s on an office, or private home.

The risks of starting work and then releasing asbestos is presence are huge and could lead to costly fines if it is not handled in the correct way.

If you’re in any doubt, get in touch with the team of experts at Acorn Analytical Services today.

As one of the leading asbestos and health and safety consultancies in the UK, we are always here to help and advise you in any way we can.

Acorn Analytical Services helps organisations and charities deal with asbestos compliance using surveysair testing, and removal management. 

Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us

Ian Stone

I am based out of our Northampton office but regularly travel to meet with new and existing clients. I have assisted thousands of clients over the years on varying-sized projects, several have been schemes totalling over one million pounds spent purely on asbestos. Together with Neil Munro, I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I am Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

Construction workers are at a much greater risk of being exposed to the dangers of asbestos

‘Asbestos awareness is crucial for everyone involved in the construction industry’

IF you work in the construction industry chances are you will come into contact with asbestos – perhaps without even realising it. With hundreds of thousands of buildings in the UK still believed to contain this highly dangerous material, even something as simple as drilling a hole could leave you vulnerable to exposure, and at … Read more

Mesothelioma can affect anyone of any age

Raising awareness of mesothelioma – a deadly cancer which kills 2,500 people every year

AS Global Asbestos Awareness Week draws to a close, we felt it was important to shine a light on the work of Mesothlioma UK, a charity which is close to all our hearts. For many years, Acorn Analytical Services has been very proud to support the work of this amazing charity which supports people living … Read more

Asbestos: Dispelling 3 common myths

Asbestos: Dispelling the myths surrounding a hidden killer which threatens us all

What does asbestos mean to you? For the vast majority of people it’s just a building material from the past, something they may know is dangerous, but something they rarely – if ever – think about. But what if we were to tell you that you are surrounded by asbestos, that despite being banned more … Read more

Asbestos isn't a headache with the Acorn Compliance Antidote

Asbestos isn’t a problem with the Acorn Compliance Antidote

AT Acorn Analytical Services we’re probably best known for the work we do supporting businesses with asbestos surveys and asbestos management. But did you also know that we offer a full package of health and safety services through our Acorn Compliance Antidote? The antidote is the perfect way to get all your health and safety … Read more

Asbestos consultancy celebrates the opening of new regional office

Asbestos company celebrates the opening of new regional office in Wolverhampton

EARLIER this month the team at Acorn Analytical Services was delighted to welcome the Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre and the Deputy Mayoress, Lynn Plant to the opening of our new asbestos management office in Wolverhampton. It was a very proud day for regional manager, Lewis Scott and his team, and Acorn’s … Read more

Emma Gooding, one of our women in construction

Women in Construction: Highlighting the work of two incredible women at the heart of our team

HIGHLY-SKILLED, talented women in construction are right at the heart of Acorn Analytical Services’ success, taking on key roles within our business and leading the fight against the UK’s asbestos epidemic. In recent years, many more women in construction have chosen to take on roles within the asbestos industry and at Acorn we do everything … Read more

Asbestos Book

Asbestos: The Dark Arts – essential reading for anyone involved in health and safety this World Book Day

AS well as being part of one of the UK’s leading asbestos consultancies, Acorn Analytical Services’ directors Ian Stone and Neil Munro have also written best-selling books on asbestos and health and safety. The books, which include their five-star rated title Asbestos: The Dark Arts, have quickly become essential reading to anyone involved in facilities … Read more

Asbestos bitesize training sessions for you and your business

Asbestos: Free bitesize sessions from the experts at Acorn will help keep your team protected from this hidden killer

IT may have been banned from new buildings more than 20 years ago but asbestos still poses a huge threat to the health and wellbeing of our society. Thousands of buildings – including many schools – still contain asbestos which can go on to cause deadly cancer if it is damaged or disturbed releasing microscopic … Read more

Asbestos analyst Jake is a shining star

Asbestos analyst Jake is a shining example of how apprenticeships can be a huge success for everyone

IT’S National Apprenticeship Week and what better way to celebrate than by shining the spotlight on asbestos analyst, Jake Newell. Jake joined Acorn Analytical Services as an apprentice in 2021 and since then he has completed his training, shown outstanding commitment and dedication to his role and been recognised for his efforts by winning – … Read more

2022 - A big year in the fight against asbestos

2022: A big year for Acorn Analytical Services in the fight against a hidden killer

2022 was a big year for the team of experts at multi award-winning asbestos management consultancy, Acorn Analytical Services. It was a year which saw the business grow and develop, we took on new staff and we helped support businesses, charities and organisations right across the UK by helping to manage their asbestos and raise … Read more