Asbestos in Fireplace?

I'm considering removing a fireplace in our living room,1930s house but fireplace probably 1940s or 1950s. Hopefully someone can help me with 2 questions:
The fireback is built from individual small bricks. The cement between these has disintegrated over the years - is the cement or the bricks likely to contain asbestos?
Secondly what is the likelihood of finding an asbestos rope seal between fire surround and fireback - what's the best way to deal with this if there is asbestos rope there?
Being slightly careful as I've got young kids in the house!
Alan
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wrote:

The cement may well contain some white asbestos (Chrysotile)

Unlikely but possible.

Having children, cats or old grannies makes no difference, all of them breath several strands of asbestos every day. There are no known cases of occasional exposure to Chrysotile having any health effects.
You have three choices - The first, safest and cheapest is to do nothing other than patch up loose cement with fireclay.
The second is to remove Chrysotile bearing materials; To do this wet the material (to reduce dust) and remove it taking care to use methods which minimise dust generation (so lever out cement rather than drill it out). Place the waste in a polythene bag and place it inside another bag, phone your local council and find out which local waste site will take asbestos cement waste.
Alternatively you can contact a licensed asbestos cowboy who will turn up with fancy looking respirators and polythene and charge you several thousand pounds. They will carefully carry the "contaminated" material outside and probably dump it in the nearest bin.
Both latter methods will result in substantially the same amount of Chrysotile being released into the atmosphere. Neither will have any effect upon anyones health.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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me
between
bricks
with
If you contact these guys:
http://www.asbestoswatchdog.co.uk /
they'll check out samples for 20 a go and offer advice
Regards
Jim
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