Gallery 5 – Asbestos Cements

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Asbestos Cement Profiled Sheets

Location / Use: Roofing, wall cladding. Permanent shuttering, cooling tower elements.

Asbestos Content and Type / Date Last Used: 10-15% asbestos (some flexible sheets contain a proportion of cellulose). Crocidolite (blue) asbestos (1950-1969) and amosite (brown) asbestos (1945-1980) have been used in the manufacture of asbestos cement, although chrysotile (white) asbestos (used until November 1999) is by far the most common.

Ease of Fibre Release and Product Names: Likely to release increasing levels of fibres if abraded, hand sawn or worked on with power tools. Exposed surfaces and acid conditions will remove cement matrix and concentrate unbound fibres on surface and sheet laps. Cleaning asbestos containing roofs may also release fibres.

Asbestos Cement Fully and Semi Compressed Flat Sheet

Location / Use: Semi compressed flat asbestos cement sheets can be found in partitioning to farm buildings and infill panels for housing, shuttering in industrial buildings, decorative panels for facings, bath panels, soffits, linings to walls and ceilings, portable buildings, propagation beds, domestic structural uses, fire surrounds, composite panels for fire protection, weather boarding. Fully compressed asbestos cement sheeting used where stronger materials are required and as cladding, decking and roof slates (e.g. roller skating rinks, laboratory worktops).

Asbestos Content and Type / Date Last Used: As for profiled sheets. Also 10-25% chrysotile (white) asbestos and some amosite (brown) asbestos for asbestos wood used for fire doors etc. Composite panels contained about 4% chrysotile (white) asbestos or crocidolite (blue) asbestos.

Ease of Fibre Release and Product Names: Release as for profiled sheets. Asbestos containing roof slate (e.g. ‘Eternit’, ‘Turners’, ‘Speakers’), ‘Everite’, ‘Turnall’, ‘Diomand AC’, ‘Emalie’, ‘Eflex’, ‘Colourglaze’, ‘Thrutone’, ‘Weatherall’, ‘Promenade tiles’.