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The environment

Asbestos is non-degradable and if released into the environment it could constitute a public health hazard. The relevant heath protection agency, local authority and environmental agency should assess and manage this risk.

Once released into the air, fibres will be dispersed in natural air currents and by wind movement.

Land contaminated by ACMs and/or fibres may present a clean-up issue for the landowner or responsible person where significant amounts of fibres have been released during an incident. The public health agencies and the local authority may consider asbestos sampling to assess if the risk is above that normally encountered in the environment or for public reassurance (to show nothing has been detected above normal background levels).

Consideration should always be given to the potential hazards posed by water run off. Water may run into drains but may also collect on hard surfaces which, after drying off, may contain an asbestos residue.