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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

At e4 Environmental we offer a range of services. These are categorised into four main areas, and we can offer advice on any aspect of Asbestos Removal and Encapsulation. Click...

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About e4 Environmental - Fully Licensed Asbestos Removal Company

At e4 Environmental we are experts in all methods of removing and encapsulating hazardous asbestos materials in a safe and regulated manner. We are working in our 12th year as...

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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: Why is asbestos hazardous to my health?

The fibres of the asbestos materials are long, thin strands that are very small. When inhaled, these fibres latch on to your lungs and organs and when built up over time can cause Asbestosis or Mesothelioma, both fatal and incurable diseases.

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.

Q: What area do you carry out works?

We are based in Sheffield but travel all across the UK, and have even been known to travel to Africa for jobs! There is no limit to our service area so please give us a call.

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