There are a lot of reports in the press about asbestos and the health risks it poses.
Here's some guidance on what you should do if you come across asbestos in your home, and how to dispose of it.
Cement bonded asbestos is found in many places in the home including rainwater pipes and gutters, water tanks, insulation boards, garage/shed roofs, boiler flues and domestic equipment such as ovens, heaters and ironing boards.
Generally, asbestos materials in good condition can be left in place and painted but should not be drilled, sanded or sawn.
Where you need to remove and replaced asbestos, get in touch with your local Environmental Health Officer for advice about the best course of action. You may need to employ specialist licensed contractors to deal with this hazardous material.
Asbestos materials should not be broken as particles of asbestos are hazardous to health. Access to the area should be restricted and the materials should be wetted to reduce the risk of dust. Anyone dealing with asbestos should wear protective clothing and masks.
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 you need to dispose of asbestos waste very carefully.
District Council waste collection services do not collect asbestos materials, so if you have materials you will need to ensure they are disposed of safely.
There are asbestos collection containers at Staffordshire County Council's Household Recycling Centres at Burton, Leek, Cannock, Stafford and Wombourne.
Householders can bring small amounts of cement asbestos products from DIY activities. The maximum we can accept is limited to the equivalent of 4 large sheets approximately 6' by 2' or 4' by 3', or the equivalent in bags if broken up.
The materials must be double bagged before it can be accepted on site. Our staff can't help you in bagging these materials because of legal and health implications.
All asbestos deposits must be recorded, and a disclaimer form filled out on site.
For larger quantities such as from demolition of a shed or garage roof replacement householders must contact specialist licensed firms to handle that material.
Details can be obtained from yellow pages or by contacting the Environment Agency helpline on 08708 506506.