What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a term for a group of six naturally occurring mineral fibres belonging to two groups:
- Serpentine Group – comprised of only chrysotile (white asbestos)
- Amphibole Group – comprised of anthophyllite, amosite (brown asbestos or grey asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), tremolite, and actinolite.
The use of asbestos in buildings has been banned in Singapore since 1989.
Asbestos had long been viewed as one of the most versatile minerals because of its flexibility, tensile strength, insulation from heat and electricity, chemical inertness and affordability.
The versatility of asbestos made it attractive to many industries and is thought to have more than 3000 applications worldwide. The widespread use of asbestos has left a deadly legacy of asbestos material.
Asbestos in Singapore was widely used in the past in building and construction, thermal insulation and fire-proofing materials. Unfortunately, asbestos can still be found in old buildings and structures such as roof sheets, ceiling boards, insulation boards, wall partitions and claddings, pipe insulations and gaskets. Great care needs to be undertaken with any removal or remodeling.
A great many Western countries have now banned asbestos. Significant medical evidence confirms that asbestos does lead to lung disease.
As Asbestos ages, it often becomes more and more brittle and susceptible to breaking, damage or becomes friable. Always seek the advice of a trained and certified Asbestos Surveyor before commencing any works.
Contact AESS with your query.