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Asbestos - In the Home

Does the Council provide a sampling service for asbestos?

The Borough Council does not take samples of asbestos for analysis. If you need asbestos sampling you should contact an asbestos analytical laboratory for advice. There are a number of companies listed in the Yellow Pages and Thompson local directory under "asbestos service".

Does the Council provide any grants to householders to help deal with asbestos?

Financial help may be available to deal with disrepair issues depending on certain criteria. The presence of asbestos, its condition and type together with the risk to health and safety of the building occupants is one consideration under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Residents and landlords of residential properties in Newcastle-under-Lyme should contact the Environmental Health Housing Team for further advice or follow this link Newcastle Borough Council - financial assistance for property repairs.

I am thinking of buying a house and it has an asbestos cement garage/structure. What should I do?

It depends on the state of repair of the asbestos cement and the structure of the garage. Officers from the Environmental Protection section are prepared to offer advice on this matter.

Where the structure and panels are sound and have not been damaged in any way, it may be safe to leave the structure in place and continue to use it. You may wish to seal the panels with a PVA sealant to stop any deterioration of the asbestos panels and release of fibres. If the structure is covered in moss lichen or other plant material then there is the possibility that asbestos fibres may be released especially if these are removed. The precautions detailed in the Health and Safety Executive's publication “asbestos essentials” relating to the removal of moss and lichen from asbestos cement should be followed in order to minimise contamination of the surrounding area and also exposure to you and people around you.

If your intention is to have the structure removed there are some basic precautions which should be followed whether you do the job yourself or employ someone to do it for you. If you employ a contractor they do not need to be licensed to handle asbestos but they would need to hold a waste carriers licence issued by the Environment Agency if they remove the waste on your behalf. They should also provide you with a consignment note which details the waste, their information and the place of ultimate disposal. You can check whether the waste contractor is licensed by contacting the Environment Agency or checking the Environment Agency Public Register website (choose “waste carrier” from the appropriate menu).

I have a textured finish to the ceiling or walls in my property. I have heard this might contain asbestos and I am worried about my health. What should I do?

Textured coatings applied before 2000 may contain asbestos. The only way to be sure is to have a sample of the material analysed (see does the Council provide a sampling service for asbestos?).

If the surface is in a good condition and is unlikely to be interfered with then it is safe and you do not need to worry.

If the coating has been damaged in any way there is a possibility that asbestos fibres may be released.

If you want to remove the surface finish, the Council advises that it is best to leave the coating in place and to apply a suitable plaster skim.

If you want to remove any parts of the surface coating the guidance in HSE Publication “Asbestos Essentials” relating to the removal of textured coatings should be followed whether you do the job yourself or employ a contractor to do it for you.

I have a damaged textured coating - what should I do?

You do not need to use a licensed asbestos removal contractor to deal with this. However the basic precautions in the Health and Safety Executive's publication “asbestos essentials” about the handling of damaged textured coatings should be followed.

How can I dispose of asbestos from my home?

The Borough Council can't collect asbestos from your home. Asbestos waste is classed as hazardous and special arrangements must be made for its disposal. These are detailed below.

Small quantities of asbestos can be disposed at a civic amenity site run by Staffordshire County Council. See Waste sites in Staffordshire for more information. Please note that the site in Leycett cannot accept asbestos waste. Residents living in Newcastle-under-Lyme are not allowed to dispose of asbestos at waste sites in Stoke-on-Trent or outside of Staffordshire.

Larger quantities of asbestos must be disposed responsibly via a licensed waste carrier or to a licensed waste management centre. Details of companies and centres can be found in the Yellow Pages and Thompson Local. The company should be able to produce evidence that they are licensed to carry waste. To check the details you should view the Environment Agency Public register of waste carriers . The waste carrier should also be able to show you evidence of their waste carriers registration.

Can I give some asbestos panels/products to a friend?

No. The asbestos prohibition regulations make it illegal to supply asbestos products. Any asbestos removed must be disposed of properly.

Advice on electric storage and gas catalytic heaters

Some electric storage heaters, generally those manufactured before 1975, contain asbestos. Please contact your electricity supply company or this department to check whether your heater has been identified as containing asbestos.  Do not dismantle the storage heater to check whether this is the case. Generally the heaters are safe as long as they are not damaged or tampered with.  If you want to have the heaters removed this must be done by licensed contractors.

Some catalytic heaters, burning butane and propane without a visible flame, may contain an asbestos panel if manufactured before 1983. Please contact the manufacturer of the appliance or your gas supplier for advice.

Last updated 15 October 2015

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