Asbestos in Soil and Construction & Demolition Materials

Article Index


The Asbestos in Soil and Construction & Demolition Materials – Joint Industry Working Group (Asbestos in Soil JIWG for short) was established in November 2011 after The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) and Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments (CL:AIRE) formally joined forces and then invited a wide range of both private and public sector organisations that are all looking to work together to meet the challenges posed by asbestos in soil. The JIWG project will be working alongside the CIRIA research project trying to ensure that the two projects complement and link as much as possible with a co-ordinated approach.


The aims of the Joint Industry Working Group are:

  • To bring together the asbestos management, occupational hygiene and brownfield management sectors with the aim of promoting the development of a consistent and harmonised approach to the regulation, investigation, analysis, assessment and management of asbestos in soil.
  • To develop practical practitioner guidance on asbestos in soil that provides a consistent approach for UK industry, stakeholders and regulators.
  • To promote the development of the relevant industry professional qualification framework for asbestos in soils for the brownfield and asbestos management sectors, building on the existing professional qualification framework for the management of asbestos in buildings, and relevant statutory requirements.
  • To engage with the principal regulatory bodies for asbestos the Health & Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and representatives of Local Authority Contaminated Land Officers - with the aim of promoting a consistent, unified and transparent regime for the regulation of all aspects relating to the remediation of land contaminated by asbestos.
  • To promote and develop an improvement in public and stakeholder awareness of relevant issues, including inter alia health & safety, public health, technical, legal and insurance, related to the occurrence of and investigation and remediation of asbestos in soil.
  • To promote the work of the Asbestos in Soil – Joint Industry Working Group to ensure all organisations are fully informed of its activities.


  • The working group is chaired by EIC.
  • It will aim to meet quarterly with additional meetings scheduled by teleconference when required.
  • CL:AIRE will perform the secretariat duties for the working group.
  • Membership of the working group will be by invitation to specific organisations. Such invitations being reviewed as appropriate. The current list of members is provided here:


All notes from the JIWG meetings will be made publicly available


The Joint Industry Working Group (JIWG), Environment Agency and Health and Safety Executive has agreed to work together to bring clarification on a number of key regulatory and guidance issues that will help underpin the development of the industry code of practice for asbestos in soil, construction and demolition materials . This work will help clarify a number of important issues relating to the application of some of the legislation as it is currently being applied to the regulation of asbestos in soil, construction and demolition materials.


The Environment Agency will shortly be issuing revised technical guidance on waste, "rWM2". This guidance will contain new worked examples of how to classify as "hazardous" waste soil and other waste materials such as made ground and general C&D wastes that are contaminated by asbestos fibres and asbestos-containing materials. The EA has agreed with the JIWG that there is a need to provide industry with refined, detailed and practical guidance in this area. Work to produce this guidance, therefore, will continue over the coming months, these efforts being led by the EIC-CL:AIRE JIWG on Asbestos in Soil and C&D Materials in conjunction with the EA. This work will ultimately feed into the development of the JIWG Industry Code of Practice for Asbestos in Soil. The full statement can be downloaded here>>>

The JIWG Asbestos in Soil are working under agreed Terms of Reference. These can be downloaded following the following link:.
Terms of Reference>>


The final scope of the document is still to be finalised by the JIWG however the main headings are anticipated to include the following:
• Introduction and Background;
• Regulation of Asbestos;
• UKAS and Accreditation Requirements;
• Training and Qualification Requirements;
• Insurance Requirements;
• Site Investigation and Sampling protocols;
• Laboratory analysis;
• Human Health Risk Assessment;
• Remediation of Asbestos-Contaminated Soils and Ground Materials; and
• Waste management.

I. Asbestos: properties & health effects
II. Asbestos: occurrence and uses
III. Asbestos: safe work practices, control measures and protective equipment
IV. Asbestos: Air monitoring procedures and limits
V. Investigation of asbestos in soil and ground materials: detailed methodology
VI. Analysis of asbestos in soil and ground materials: detailed methodology
VII. Assessment of asbestos in soil and ground materials: detailed human health risk assessment framework
VIII. Selection of good practice case studies & example scenarios
IX. Summary of international approaches

The full working scope can be downloaded here>>>

Chapters will be written by selected groups of recognised experts from these fields, with an open consultation process when the document is in final draft format.


SoBRA would like the whole of the land development industry (contractors. consultants and site owners) to get involved in an industry wide initiative to provide dust sampling data from site works. Many practitioners already undertake routine dust sampling; all we are asking is for you to provide the results of these samples to SoBRA anonymously. The results will be collated into a larger open access database to help the development of a risk assessment model which will feed into the Joint Industry Working Group Asbestos in Soil. To ensure that the dust samples are taken in a uniform way, SoBRA has produced a sampling protocol to assist.

This can be accessed here>>>

The dust sampling protocol is supported by an equivalent protocol for asbestos fibre in air monitoring and the use of both protocols in parallel is encouraged where possible so that the open access UK-specific empirical database that SoBRA is developing can be as comprehensive as possible.

This can be accessed here>>>

Completed templates should be sent to Simon Cole (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

SCA BLUE BOOK METHOD - The determination of asbestos in soil and associated materials (June 2015) (v.10a): Consultation Draft

The SCA Blue Book Method for the determination of asbestos in soil and associated materials has been amended and reviewed extensively by a working group led by Hazel Davidson of DETS. This document is now open for wider consultation for review and comment.

Please forward any comments that you have on this version to Hazel Davidson directly (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) by 31st July 2015.


The JIWG are working very closely with the regulators and as such are aware that the HSE are reviewing all asbestos related HSE publications. The JIWG is aiming to publish the Asbestos in Soil Code of Practice draft for consultation in Summer 2016.


In order for the Asbestos in Soil and Construction & Demolition Materials – Practitioners’ Guide: Industry Code of Practice (CoP) to be developed, funding is required from industry to cover the costs of writing, developing and publishing a freely available downloadable PDF document.

We are looking to secure £150,000, although the project has already commenced using the surplus funding that was made from the Asbestos in Soil conference in November 2011. The sooner the funding total is secured, however, the quicker the document can be prepared.

If the full financial targets are met additional training materials will also be developed.

Financial Support has been secured from the following organisations:

Interested in Funding?

If you are interested in help fund the development of Asbestos in Soil Practitioners’ Guide - Industry Code of Practice, please contact: Nicola Harries at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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