More than 100,000 buildings in the UK contain asbestos

An authoritative report, based on 128,000 asbestos surveys, shows that more than 100,000 buildings in the UK contain dangerous asbestos.  Historic exposure to asbestos causes 5,500 deaths a year in the UK: that is 15 every day.

The report represents the first time that data analysis has been carried out on a large body of asbestos survey data.  The data used comes from 128,000 asbestos surveys carried out between October 2021 and March 2022, which shows the data is both reliable and up to date.  78% of the buildings surveyed, which is 100,660, contained asbestos.  710,433 separate items of asbestos were found.

The most worrying aspect of the report is the number of items of asbestos that were damaged: 507,612 which is 71%.  Damaged asbestos is a major health hazard because it releases dangerous fibres into the atmosphere.  The presence of damaged asbestos shows that asbestos management in the building is not being carried out correctly because the duty holder has failed to remediate the damaged asbestos.

The report was produced jointly by The Asbestos Testing & Consultancy Association (ATaC) and the National Organisation of Asbestos Consultants (NORAC).  It is the first of a planned series of annual reports. In total over 1 million data points were collected and analysed.