Asbestos Removal London

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Back in the 1970s, asbestos was found to be the cause of mesothelioma, a cancer affecting the inner lining of the chest, as well as other serious illnesses. In 1985, the UK government prohibited using two types of asbestos. In 1999, they banned the supply and manufacture of all asbestos. However, if you live in a building constructed before 1999 which has yet to be renovated, it may contain asbestos.

An asbestos survey will determine the type of asbestos and its location. Depending on the type and its condition, the surveyor will advise if it can be managed or removed entirely from the building. 

During our asbestos surveys in London, we perform a detailed examination to identify and rate the risk of any materials containing asbestos (ACMs) on a property. Our asbestos surveyors work throughout Greater London, following the guidelines and regulations specified by the Health and Safety Executive.

We know the most common locations where asbestos is found in London buildings. It is frequently found in roof tileswater tanks, and flooring. It’s also found in more unusual places, including old toilet seats, embossed decorative wallpaper, and under chimney caps. We take samples of any suspicious material to a certified laboratory for asbestos analysis.

The samples undergo a rigorous laboratory analysis at the asbestos testing facility. This analysis uses a technique called polarised light microscopy (PLM) or transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These modern techniques accurately detect the samples’ amount and type of asbestos.

If asbestos is detected, our team of experts will guide you on the appropriate action. If the asbestos is in good condition and is not likely to deteriorate soon, it can be managed. This sometimes involves applying a sealant over the asbestos to prevent the release of fibres.

However, if the asbestos is in bad condition or likely to be disturbed during renovations or building work, the only safe approach is to remove it from the premises.

Why Is Asbestos Removal Advised?

Asbestos is a material that builders commonly used until the 1980s. Builders used asbestos because it can withstand fire and heat. However, medical experts later discovered that asbestos could cause serious health problems. When people breathe in tiny asbestos fibres, they can get stuck in their lungs, leading to severe health conditions.

Removing asbestos from a structure stops the risk of exposure to these harmful fibres. However, only trained professionals with expertise and the proper equipment should remove ACMs to minimise the chance of fibre release during disposal.

In the UK, asbestos removal companies must follow strict guidelines to ensure the safe removal of asbestos. These regulations aim to protect the public and those who work with asbestos.

Is There Much Asbestos In London?

According to the Imperial London College, The UK has the highest incidence of mesothelioma worldwide, with England having many more cases than the rest of the UK. 

Much asbestos remains in London buildings. Because central London has mainly buildings constructed before 1999, asbestos is still present in thousands of constructions. 

NHS Buildings

In 2022, research revealed many NHS premises still contain asbestos, including hospitals. The Trades Union Commission and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health commissioned the Labour Research Department (LRD) to conduct the research.

The survey found two-thirds of NHS premises and buildings still contain asbestos. Asbestos was still present in at least 451 NHS buildings in London – more than half of those surveyed. 

Apart from hospitals, NHS buildings found with asbestos included health centres, blood donor clinics and GP surgeries.

The Underground

The Metropolitan Line was the first underground rail line in the world. It was opened in 1863. Various other underground lines followed over the next five decades, including the Circle Line, Waterloo & City, Central, Baker Street, Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton lines.

Although asbestos was used in construction as early as 1900, it was not the main choice of construction materials. The use of asbestos in building work took off in the UK after the Second World War. The most heightened use of asbestos was during the 1950s through to the 1970s. 

There was a slight decrease in the eighties when it was becoming apparent asbestos exposure could be the cause of severe illnesses. But millions of tonnes of asbestos were used for construction and refurbishment throughout the UK until its eventual ban.

During the war, the London Underground suffered great damage and was in dire need of repair. This took decades to complete. Combined with the high usage of asbestos from 1950 to 1970, it is easy to see how asbestos products would have been used extensively for repairing the London Underground.

The Underground consists of miles of tunnels with live electrical installations and potential fire risks. The tunnels would have been lined with products containing asbestos. It would also be used in the ceilings, walls, and floors of the tube stations.

Asbestos was furthermore used in the tube trains, in the mechanical elements including brakes and electrics. There are still some tube trains in service containing asbestos.

Even today, the Underground contains substantial amounts of asbestos. Nevertheless, since the 1990s, there have been endeavours to remove asbestos from the Underground. This has mostly been during scheduled refurbishment projects. 

Removing asbestos in the Underground is a lengthy process as it requires tube closures, presenting many challenges.

Today, although asbestos is still prevalent in the Underground, remaining ACMs are managed to control the risks as far as possible.

Removing all ACMs from the Underground may take many years or even decades, and like with many buildings in London, it may never be entirely feasible.

The Houses of Parliament

Other than NHS buildings, private homes, and the Underground, quite a few other famous London locations contain asbestos.

Probably the most famous is the Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament.

A 1916 report highlighted there was a significant risk to all persons working in the Palace of Westminster. This would include MPs, visitors, peers, and office workers.

Investigations revealed that the 170-year-old building contained ACMs in the concealed service shafts and pipe ducts located behind committee rooms and chambers.

The building’s shafts were not sealed properly, which could result in the building’s occupants inhaling asbestos fibres.

Earls Court

The Earls Court Exhibition Centre opened in 1937 and welcomed millions of visitors until its closure in 2014.

In 2010, the owners decided to redevelop the space with residential flats, shops and possibly a new centre.

Boris Johnson approved the plans in July 2013, and demolition and redevelopment of the site began in December 2014.

There was much concern about the amount of asbestos present in the building and the danger it posed to the public during demolition 

The Earls Court Exhibition Centre was finally demolished by CAPCO in 2015. The developers assured the public that all work adhered to high health, safety, and environmental standards.

Buckingham Palace

In 2015, due to significant amounts of deadly asbestos, the late Queen Elisabeth had to consider vacating Buckingham Palace for essential repair and asbestos removal work. The cost amounted to £150m. 

However, the work was carried out over a staggered rolling program, meaning vacating was not essential. 

Almost £1m of public money was spent on stripping asbestos from the electrical cabling ducts under the flooring in the south wing of the palace. The remaining asbestos will be stripped out over the next 20 years at a cost of several million pounds.

Excalibur Estate, Lewisham

The Excalibur Estate in South London provided housing consisting of 185 prefabricated bungalows. It was built post-war in 1946 following the housing crisis after the Second World War. The bungalows were full of asbestos.

Residents were still living in the homes more than six decades after they were built.

In 2011, Lewisham Council authorised a plan to replace the prefabs with 371 new houses, with demolition scheduled in 2013. However, because they contained so much asbestos, redevelopment was delayed. 

The English Heritage has granted listed building status to six of the prefabricated houses. Apart from these six, all the buildings are marked for demolition, and the new estate will be completed by the mid-2020s.

Cape Asbestos Factory

In 1913, Cape Asbestos opened an asbestos factory on Harts Lane in Barking. ACMs were shipped from South Africa to the plant. Hundreds of people worked there until it finally closed in 1968.

The asbestos factory is blamed for the significant increase in deaths related to asbestos exposure. Between 1981 and 2005, there were over 265 asbestos-related deaths per 100,000 people. Women have been particularly affected, with a high rate of mesothelioma cases reported. 

The factory is known as London’s biggest asbestos death blackspot, and it has left a legacy of death and compensation. Cape PLC has set aside £40 million for ongoing claims, equivalent to £70,000 in payoffs each week.

What Is the Procedure For Asbestos Removal?

If you live in London and think there could be asbestos in your property, all you need to do is call AJC Environmental. We will arrange an asbestos management survey or a refurbishment and demolition survey.

If a survey finds asbestos in your home or building, it’s essential to act. A professional asbestos removal company like AJC can get rid of it safely. In some cases, you’ll need to notify the Health and Safety Executive at least 14 days before the removal work begins. AJC Environmental can help you determine if this is necessary based on the level of risk involved in your situation.

Preparation and Isolation

To safely remove asbestos, we take precautions to prevent harmful particles from spreading. First, we prepare the area by setting up an isolation unit and sealing it off. This helps to keep the asbestos fibres contained and stops them from getting into the air. We may put up barriers and use ventilation systems.

Personal Protective Equipment

The people will change to PPE clothing to protect themselves. These include disposable suits, masks, gloves, and safety glasses to reduce the chance of breathing in harmful particles or getting them on their skin.

Wetting Asbestos Materials

All ACMs are wetted before to minimise the spread of airborne asbestos fibres. The water helps to stop the fibres from becoming airborne.

Safe Removal Techniques

The workers further decrease the risk of fibres spreading using tools and industry safety procedures as they remove the asbestos-containing materials.


After the asbestos is removed from the site, it is put in labelled bags and double-sealed, ready to take to a hazardous waste facility. The workers and their tools undergo decontamination to prevent asbestos fibres from leaving the work area.

Air Monitoring

During and after removal, the air is tested to assess if there are asbestos fibres. This helps confirm the area is safe for reoccupation.

Waste Disposal

The asbestos waste is transported and disposed of at a licensed asbestos disposal location. Removal companies may use a marked van to transport asbestos waste to a disposal facility, depending on the type and amount of asbestos.

Final Inspection and Clearance Certificate

After completion of the asbestos removal job, a thorough check is carried out to make sure all ACMs are removed safely and properly. If the area is free from any hazardous materials and meets the necessary safety standards, a certificate is issued to confirm that it is safe to use or occupy.

How Much Does Asbestos Removal Cost?

It’s difficult to estimate the cost of asbestos removal without knowing the quantity and type of asbestos present. The removal cost also depends on the level of danger, as more hazardous asbestos requires more expensive disposal. The project’s complexity, size, and location also impact the price.

Although we cannot provide an accurate estimate without an in-person examination of the situation, we offer free quotes and advice on how to proceed if you suspect asbestos in your property. It’s essential not to take any risks with your health by attempting to remove asbestos yourself to save money. Our prices are competitive, and we are committed to helping you find the best solution for your budget.

Why Use AJC Environmental for Asbestos Removal In London

At AJC Environmental Ltd, we’ve provided asbestos surveys and removal services for more than a decade. Our team is here to help you safely remove and dispose of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) from various locations in London. We can provide you with services such as asbestos surveys, testing, and analysis, and if required, create a customised plan to help you manage asbestos. We aim to ensure that all asbestos-containing materials are handled and managed properly to prevent any health hazards.

Our team has the knowledge and experience to remove or manage asbestos safely and efficiently. You can trust us to do the job well. We know every case is unique and customise our services accordingly. Our experts can provide you with a detailed report, complete with photos and guidance to help you safely remove any asbestos-containing materials found.

Failure to manage asbestos correctly can result in heavy fines or even prison if your premises pose a potential public health risk. So, let us help you handle your asbestos situation safely and efficiently.

Asbestos services London

Contact The London Asbestos Surveyors

Our team of asbestos surveyors are fully trained and insured. We can assist with tasks of any size related to asbestos.

Call 07928 715450 for more information on our asbestos removal in London, or fill out our online form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


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