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Although the import, supply and use of all forms of asbestos has been banned for a long time, a high number of tradespeople are still at risk from exposure to asbestos. Any building built before the year 2000, both residential and industrial, may still contain asbestos-containing materials that could be disturbed by tradespeople carrying out work.

Exposure to asbestos is associated with the following diseases: mesothelioma, lung, larynx and stomach cancers, as well as asbestosis and pleural thickening, resulting in around 5000 deaths each year. Many of these deaths are due to past exposure to asbestos; however, asbestos is still a risk today.

The following initiatives have been developed to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos amongst tradespeople:

Further information on exposure to asbestos in the workplace is available on HSE's asbestos web pages.

Updated 2020-08-26