I live in an early 70s terrace house with a half-integral garage (half
of it sticks out). The integral half has a ceiling of (rather badly
pinned) stuff which has been suggested might be Asbestolux. It's a
rigid white board, 6mm thick. I'm trying to find out:
* How do I identify it, and how dangerous is it? I use the garage as a
workshop and so spend some time in there.
* How should I remove it?
* What should I replace it with?
When asked the same, local council told me that a) I could get it
tested but 'it might be expensive' and b) if I take it down they can
remove it for a fee. I'd be very grateful if anyone could add any more
If it is asbestolux it's nowhere near as dangerous as raw asbestos.
Most of the asbestosis problems were caused by blue asbestos which looks
juts like tumble drier fluff. It was used in it's loose fluff form and
large quantities of it got airborne.
In the same situation I would get a cheap disposable boilersuit and good
quality disposable dust mask, then carefully remove it and place it in
heavy duty plastic bags. It shouldn't pose much of a health risk to do
so, although you would obviously avoid shattering and smashing it all up
Then I guess you put up some plasterboard?
The other option is to get a specialist asbestos removal company in.
This will involve a brief visit by some fat conman to assess the job
from a distance. He will then charge an absolute fortune and then send
in a team of ordinary off-the-street labourers in white paper suits and
maybe even go the full hog and park a small caravan with
"decontamination unit" written on the side. It's a bit like the drain
cleaning business. All show and profit.
Clive, thanks very much for your reply, much appreciated. Thanks for
warning about removal companies, I shan't bother - this stuff is fairy
coherent, it can't be *that* dangerous. (Can it?) I will remove it
No problem to put up plasterboard, but wasn't sure if it meet whatever
fire regulations it's supposed to, is a certain thickness required?
On Fri, 16 Mar 2007 12:19:32 GMT, Clive Mitchell
Asbestolux contains a high proportion of brown asbestos (Amosite) in
a friable form. Are you thinking of Chrysotile cement sheeting which
contains smaller amounts of Chrysotile (white) asbestos in a cement
Most were caused by blue and brown asbestos.
Problem is that if the board is Asbestolux then what you propose is
illegal as well as much more dangerous than doing nothing. It is
only asbestos cement which can be treated in this way.
replying to Clive Mitchell, Matt wrote:
you are so right I have the same material in my garage house built 1973 I seen
exactly that on the estate where we live
big con, you just have be aware of the stuff the council covered my mates with
plaster board , retired plumber / heating engineer.
I doubt if he knows where "here" is. Probebly thinks HoH is the
What is intresting, is the "Clive Mitchell" he is replying to is non
other than "Big Clive" who now has a huge following on Youtube
It seems he posted in uk.d-i-y in Mar/Apr/May 2007
Yes indeed, but for some reason the home owners club interface for some odd
reason sorts by month and ignores the year. I would have thought that by now
one of two things might have happened.
1. the hierarchy of Usenet might have excommunicated any portal not
conforming to the main rules of the system
2. that the site designer might have fixed the mess they created in the
first place by now.
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
Asbestolux is a low density board containing 16 to 30% Amosite which
was used as fire protection and insulation. Amosite is also known as
brown asbestos and is, like crocidolite, a member of the Amphibole
group. Asbestolux board was commonly used until the late 70's for
ceilings in garages inside houses because of its excellent fire
Asbestolux is fairly soft - a Stanley knife with a new blade can
easily be pushed into it. The other slightly less likely possibility
for a ceiling in the situation you describe is that the board is
asbestos cement in which case it will be very hard and a knife blade
pushed into it won't make any impression on it.
You can take a sample and have it analysed - it's probably far
cheaper simply to assume it is low density asbestos containing board.
Of the three asbestos types (blue, brown and white) blue and brown
are the most hazardous. In theory a single strand can be a health
hazard but there is a strong dose/time relationship with the risk
becoming significant after years of sustained exposure to asbestos
dust. Low exposure carries a low risk. In a domestic situation with
AIB ceiling boards the risk is negligible.
If at all practical you shouldn't remove it, the safest thing to do
is to leave it where it is. If necessary give it a good coat of a
suitable sealant to reduce any tendency to minimise particle
If it must be removed then you are in the wild west territory of
having to use one of the " licensed contractor" cowboys with
associated very large bills (several thousands of pounds is quite
Some useful information is at
Download their Asbestos Insulation Board leaflet.
A suitable fire resistant material, the threat of a fire in the
garage is far greater than the threat from the asbestos.
Testing is about GBP250, less if you do it via
IF it is amosite (asbestolux) you _cannot_ remove it yourself but
_must_ use a licensed contractor. Asbestos Insulation Board
containing Amosite is a licensed material and only specially licensed
asbestos contractors can remove it if the work is to take longer than
one hour. The local council will not accept Amosite for disposal.
If you get into using licensed contractors then you are in trouble.
To describe most of the asbestos removal industry as corrupt
fraudsters is probably being rather unkind to people who send you
e-mails from Nigeria offering large sums of money if you call them
the same thing.
Many thanks again for the tips, much appreciated - especially useful
information to be found at asbestos watchdog.
Well, I wouldn't say soft, cos it's quite rigit, but under, er,
controlled conditions, I can easily score it to about 1 ot 2mm deep
with a stanley knife. A bit like a harder version of plasterboard. So
sounds more like asbestolux than asbestos cement.
Actually, it's so badly put up that I could take it down in about an
hour :) But...
Sounds like good advice and seems to be echoed elsewhere. Actually,
the main reason I want to get rid of it is that it looks really messy
and I'm trying to tidy up my workshop - as opposed to an oh-no-
asbestos-we're-all-going-to-die reaction. How about plasterboarding
right on top of it? I can't imagine that using PB screws through it
would release any dust/fibres? (that would have to get through the
Thanks for the warning! Whatever solution I come up with will not be
going down that route...
Giving it a good coat of paint especially around the edges of boards
to stop fibres shedding as you do any work and then plaster boarding
is a better solution than removal. Don't forget to offset the new
boards so the seams don't match up with the old. It will also
restore the lost fire integrity of the ceiling.
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