Changes in regulation have led to a dramatic increase in demand for asbestos sampling and testing, says Redhill Analysts commercial director Peter Harris.
The driver for the increase is last year's amendments to the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations.
'Demand across the industry has doubled or even trebled since then, ' says Harris. Redhill Analysts is now testing some 3,000 samples a month.
Nearly 70% of commercial premises contain some form of asbestos, Harris claims.
Its use was finally banned in 1999, although higher risk products had been phased out earlier. 'Asbestos is the biggest industrial killer in the UK and is likely to remain so for the next 50 years, ' he adds.
One of the main types of survey arises from the duty to manage risk in non-domestic buildings. The most common survey involves a visual inspection, with sampling of any suspicious materials. 'About 25 samples might be taken on an average day's surveying of a typical building, ' says Harris, all of which have to be analysed in the laboratory.
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