Asbestos in soil and made ground: a guide to understanding and managing risks. Ready reference (SP168)

The term ‘asbestos’ relates to several fibrous minerals regulated under UK law that are known to cause serious health effects (including mesothelioma and lung cancer) when inhaled. Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) were widely used in construction, and it is difficult (and sometimes not possible) to ensure that all asbestos is removed before demolition. Building rubble is liable to contain ACM, and may contain free fibres. ACM fragments in rubble or soil can be difficult to detect by the naked eye whereas free fibres in rubble or soil are generally not visible.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 requires actions to ensure the protection of workers and general public from asbestos exposures resulting from work activities. However, current case law suggests that landowners and developers could find themselves liable for claims under the Compensation Act 2006 in the future, even if CAR and planning requirements have been satisfied. In order to avoid such claims, adequate attention needs to be paid to potential risks from asbestos-containing soils (ACSs) during all redevelopment.

This special publication ‘ready reference’ should be used to accompany the main guidance Asbestos in soil and made ground: a guide to understanding and managing risks (C733)

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