Asbestos is a naturally-occurring, fibre-like material. It's very strong, flexible, and stable, and is resistant to heat and water, so it was often used in building. It was used between the 1930s and mid-1980s, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. If your home was built or refurbished during that period, it may contain some asbestos.
The Health and Safety Executive has a guide to where asbestos might be found in homes. You can also look at photographs of common places where asbestos can be found.
If you think that there are asbestos products in your house, it's often best to leave them where they are, especially if they're in good condition. When materials which contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. Breathing in these fibres can cause serious diseases.
If you're worried about asbestos, you can get more information from the Asbestos Information Centre and the Health and Safety Executive.
Asbestos can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre to be disposed of, but there are special rules. Find out more about taking asbestos waste to the HWRC.