Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Asbestos

Asbestos is a hazardous material and its fibres can be very damaging to human health and the environment. As it does not break down easily, it also remains in the environment for a long time.

Large amounts of asbestos-containing materials were used for a wide range of construction purposes in new and refurbished buildings until 1999 when the use of asbestos was banned. Asbestos may be found in the floor, wall, ceiling or roofing materials of any building built or refurbished before 2000, or in contaminated soils.

You may have to comply with legal duties relating to asbestos if you own or operate a building, if you work in construction, demolition or building maintenance, or if you dispose of asbestos waste.

This guide describes how to comply with asbestos legislation that relates to environmental management. It explains how to identify asbestos and gives information on working with and disposing of asbestos.

Additional resources

  

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of long, thin, crystalline fibres.

Find out more details on our guidance page - Asbestos - What is it? >>>

Identifying asbestos

Asbestos was commonly used in construction and building maintenance from the 1940s to the 1990s.

For more information on identifying asbestos read our guidance page on How to identify Asbestos >>>

 

Working with asbestos

Read our guidance on 'Working with Asbestos' here >>>

Disposing of asbestos waste

Asbestos is hazardous and carcinogenic (a cancer-causing material). It can be very damaging to human health and the environment. It does not break down easily and remains in the environment for a long time.

Follow the link for guidance on asbestos disposal.

Asbestos environmental legislation

This page provides links to the full text of key pieces of environmental legislation relating to asbestos. The websites hosting the legislation may list amendments separately.

If you are setting up an environmental management system (EMS) for your business, you can use this list to start compiling your legal register. Your legal adviser or environmental consultant will be able to tell you if other environmental legislation applies to your specific business.

Environmental management systems and environmental reports

Northern Ireland asbestos legislation

Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2010/160 Revoke and replace SR 2006/173. They regulate the carrying of dangerous goods by road and rail and, to an extent, by inland waterway. These regulations also cover the use of transportable pressure equipment.

Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2011/365 Amends 2010/160 to help implement EU Directive 2010/35 on transportable pressure equipment. Updates technical provisions, conformity requirements and responsibilities of operators, in order to improve safety and ensure free movement of transportable pressure equipment.

Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2012/179 Revoke and replace SR 2007/31 with some modifications so that there is a consolidated set of Asbestos Regulations. The regulations ban the import, supply and new use of asbestos. Regulations require employers to assess risks and limit employees’ exposure. They also require employers to have the correct licence before working with asbestos and to ensure that their employees have proper training.

Scotland – Asbestos legislation

Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (SI 2009/1348). Regulates the transport of dangerous goods by road, rail and inland waterways and the use of pressurised cylinders, drums and other equipment.

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 SI 632 These revoke and re-enact the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, with some modifications so that there is a consolidated set of Asbestos Regulations. The regulations ban the import, supply and new use of asbestos. They require employers to assess risks and limit employees' exposure. They also require employers to have the correct licence before working with asbestos and to ensure that their employees have proper training.

You will also need to know about and comply with legislation on:

Duty of care – your waste responsibilities

Hazardous/special waste

You can keep up to date with all environmental legislation on NetRegs:

NetRegs legislation

Return to Asbestos topic landing page

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