Blue asbestos, also known as crocidolite, was banned in the UK in 1985 along with brown or amosite asbestos. This ban came fifteen years before white asbestos was finally banned in the UK, making it illegal to manufacture and supply any asbestos materials in the country.
Why Was Blue Asbestos Banned?
Asbestos was banned because of the dangers it poses to human health. According to the World Health Organization, over 100,000 workers die on an annual basis from asbestos-related diseases. One serious disease that is almost exclusively the result of exposure to asbestos is mesothelioma, malignant cancer that is caused when asbestos fibres are inhaled and become lodged in the lining of the heart, lungs, or abdomen. The illness is often found in older patients since it can take many years to develop.
Because of this, asbestos awareness is still important in the UK even over two decades after the ban was put in place. Many properties and commercial buildings in the UK were built after blue asbestos was banned, and therefore, contain a risk of exposure to asbestos that is still present in the original construction materials.
Is Asbestos Banned Globally?
As of March 2019, a total of sixty-six countries have banned the production and use of asbestos materials, while a further ten countries have placed strict restrictions on how and where it can be used. The use of asbestos is completely banned in the EU.
Sadly, the production and usage of asbestos are not yet completely banned around the world. It is still occasionally used in the US, but it is restricted from use in insulation and fireproofing applications under the 1973 Clean Air Act.
More UK Asbestos Regulations:
With blue and brown asbestos banned in the UK in 1985 and white asbestos following in 1999, there were several further laws passed in the following years in order to regulate safety for people working with and potentially being exposed to asbestos. The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations were first introduced in November 2002. These new regulations have made it necessary to possess an asbestos license to safely carry out any work with asbestos insulation products, such as removal. There are also maximum exposure limits in place and any asbestos should be identified and managed by a trained professional.
Blue asbestos is one of the most dangerous types of asbestos. While it has been banned since 1985, it may still be present in buildings constructed or renovated before then.