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What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that until 1999 was used for many everyday objects and heavily present within building materials in the UK. Some countries, such as Russia, still have active mines. It is now illegal to use asbestos of any kind in the UK.

The fibres of the asbestos mineral are soft and flexible, extremely heat resistant and also acts as an incredibly effective insulator. These properties, alongside the affordable cost in production, meant that it was used throughout many industries, and is still present in many places today.

It was formed in to many products; asbestos insulation boards (AIB), loose insulation, cement corrugated sheeting, paint, sealants, drywall, tiles, pipe insulation, and was even found in unexpected places such as fake snow and talcum powder. This variety of uses has made the removal a long and difficult process, and it is expected that asbestos will still be found in buildings for decades to come.

When undamaged and in good condition, there is no risk to the user. It is only when it is damaged, deteriorated or broken that the fibres are released and causes a hazard. Asbestos can be contained and managed to prevent this from happening without the removal, and this is called encapsulation. Where possible, this is the preferred method as advised by the HSE.

There are two strands of asbestos: Serpentine and Amphibole. These have different properties such as the shape of the fibres themselves and resistance to water. The most common types of asbestos are Chrysotile (Serpentine) and Amosite (Amphibole), but there is also the lesser found Crocidolite, Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthophyllite.

Aerial View of Asbestos Mining Quarry

Aerial View of Asbestos Mining Quarry


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Asbestos Removal Services

Asbestos removal comes in many forms. These are categorised into four main areas, and we offer free advice on any aspect of Asbestos Removal and Encapsulation. Click on the service...

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About e4 Environmental - Fully Licensed Asbestos Removal Company

Founded in 2006, we help people like you to remove asbestos in a regulated and safe manner. HSE certified, we are a fully-licensed asbestos removal contractor.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions we get asked are answered below for you! For further information give us a...

Q: How many types of asbestos are there?

Asbestos has two sub-categories; Serpentine and Amphibole, defined by their difference in fibre qualities. In the Serpentine category is Chrysotile (also known as White asbestos) with S-shaped fibres. In the Amphibole category is; Crocidolite (Blue asbestos), Amosite (Brown asbestos) and also lesser-known Anthophyllite, Tremolite and Actinolite, all with straight fibres. To learn more about the history of asbestos, read our blog

Q: What should I do if I find asbestos?

Before removals can take place, the type of asbestos needs to be identified with an independent surveyor to determine the exact properties. Never attempt to remove it yourself, and call a professional such as ourselves. If it is in bad condition it may be treated as an urgent matter.

Q: How long will it take for you to remove asbestos?

Each case is treated as an individual job, so the delivery time is dependant upon many factors. Our Contracts Managers will advise you of this at the quotation point. If the works are notifiable to the HSE, they will be subject to a minimum 14 day notification period, plus our in-house preparation.

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