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Asbestos wall panels?


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We have a room which appears to have 3 or 3 asbestos panels attached to the walls - roughly from ground height to shoulder height. They are around 6-10mm thick.. They were noted in the dignostiques before we bought the place.. (will this specify the 'type'?)

I don't have access to the diagnostiques here, but are these likely to be the highly dangerous type? They seem 'grey' in colour (though not sure as I'm in the UK) and could possibly be removed by chipping them out beyond the edge and lifting them away (our decheterie will take them)..

Am I being highly wreckless even considering it? Would it cost much to have a specialist company do it or would a builder take it on? It's all a little scary, and my girlfriend's Dad isn't happy (and he's a builder in Scandinavia..)

Many thanks..

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First thing to do, whatever the type of material in which Asbestos components are suspected, is to nail down what type and how much!

So suggest  you buy a DIY type kit See here, send off the sample: and act accordingly after this.

Whilst it would possible to remove the panels, wearing respirator and disposable coveralls etc and dump the offending items at the Decheterie, what must be remembered is that loose fibres float in the air and may well hover around as dust for months: and it only take one small piece of the nastier type to lead to mesothelioma.

I well remember the litigation which ensued after a London docker was engaged unloading a ship and apparently caught dust and fibres in his jacket: his dutiful wife brushed down his jacket the next morning: and some years later died from this dreadful disease.

I also well remember some 40 odd years ago, using an electric jigsaw to cut a circular hole in a sheet of "asbestos", in order that a steel stove pipe could exit my workshop, when installing a space heater.......

Hopefully, that type of heat insultating board used white asbestos, and didn't contain any Blue or Brown types.

However in that period, I was often changing brake linings and clutches and cleaning out brakedrums/bell housings........... And then, of course, in the early 1970s, we all used Hot Mix Artex textured ceiling and wall covering.

For the sake of £99, I would test first.


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Sound advice.. Thanks. Do you know if this type of company are 'approved' - a quick Google revealed a few concerns over the testing proceedures..

Is there likely to be any impartial advice 'on the ground' (ie. in France) in the form of a 'quote' from a company (thus effectively gaining an identification of the type involved)?

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There are a number of companies in UK offering a similar service.

There is an approval system: last time I checked it was all very weak and knee jerk sort of legislation: similar to HIPs.

The lab proceudre is rigorous if testing is correct and properly valid, as examination of suspect fibres must be carried out using an Electron Microscope: not exactly an average bit of kit from Screwfix eg!

Insofar as obtaining a valid Devis from a qualified French contractor, I doubt they would run a robust test gratis: they would probably carry out the testing first at your cost, prior to quoting.

Often forgotten is the reality that most artisans and contractors charge for their Devis: the charge is waived if the contractee proceeds with the work; however the right to charge remains on refusal; that said most do not chase for payment.


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