I forced my husband to demolish the fireplace in our 1970s house yesterday. While he was removing the delightful faux stone plinth, he discovered and removed a pipe delivering air to the Baxi fire. During this removal we discovered this was an asbestos cement pipe and took the most reasonable precautions we could (given the fact that he'd already exposed and BROKEN the pipe). We damped everything down, cleared the room, opened all the windows and doors and removed all traces of pipework, only returning to the room a few hours later. I have washed all his clothes and he wore a mask (albeit a rubbish wee paper one) and the pipe is now wrapped in plastic and awaiting a trip to the dump after we've checked out the council's policy on asbestos disposal.
While I am praying that these precautions were sufficient, I am more worried about the furry stuff which was/is wodged in around the fireplace. It looks like some kind of wool - maybe mineral wool. Is this likely or is it possible that it's some kind of loose asbestos (in which case, we're probably all doomed)?
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