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Lesson 4

Asbestos Today

At the start of the last century it was becoming clear that asbestos was causing illnesses and making people sick. Around 1900 the first appearances of asbestos illnesses were seen, although it wasn’t until 1924 that these cases were recognised. At the same time the link between asbestos and lung damage was becoming obvious.

In the 1930s the impact of asbestos on health was starting to be taken seriously. Although only one major law was passed (Asbestos Industry Regulations 1931), it was the first example of the government actively investigating its impact on health.

Over the last 40 years more and more laws relating to asbestos have passed, aiming to limit the risk of asbestos exposure and increase the availability of asbestos information and training. The five main laws and regulations passed are:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations (1999)
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (2002)
  • The Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012)
  • Construction Design and Management Regulations (2015)