2. Asbestos materials

The three principal types of asbestos are crocidolite (blue), amosite (brown), and chrysotile (white). Crocidolite is rare in University buildings; the others are commonly found in the fabric of older buildings. All may produce harmful effects if fibres are inhaled.

 Because of their excellent heat resistance, chemical inertness, and mechanical strength asbestos products were once widely used in the building industry. For instance, within the University, asbestos has been found in:

 a)         thermal insulation - on pipes and boilers

 b)         insulation boards - for fire protection, as thermal and acoustic insulation on walls, ceilings and structural steelwork

 c)         sprayed coatings - for fire protection on structural steelwork

 d)         ropes and yarns - as a sealing material or for filling gaps

 e)         asbestos cement - in wall claddings, partitions, roofing, or guttering.

 Asbestos may also be present in laboratories, inside old equipment such as ovens, furnaces, and autoclaves; or as heat resistant mats.

 Useful photographs showing typical ACMs may be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/gallery.htm