What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a natural mineral that is heat, fire and chemical resistant. That is why it was once often used in buildings and household goods (for example, ironing boards and oven gloves).
There are three main types of asbestos:
- Chrysotile (white)
- Amosite (brown)
- Crocidolite (blue)
However, you cannot tell if something contains asbestos just by appearance or colour.
Asbestos is found in lots of homes, but it is most likely to be present if your home was built between the 1950s and the early 1980s. Because of the risks explained below, asbestos is now banned and no longer used in new homes and products.
Asbestos is made up of fibres that can lodge deep in your lungs if breathed in. When high levels of fibres are breathed in, there is a risk of lung diseases, including cancer.