The UK government says it has banned the sale of asbestos flooring, but many people continue to use the material in many of their homes.
Asbestos flooring is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in asbestos, coal and wood.
It is known to cause health problems including cancer, heart disease and lung disease.
Asbest, a company based in Denmark, manufactures the material for the construction industry and the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued a directive to the manufacturers that they must be able to supply safe flooring to residential premises.
“Asbestos floorings may pose health risks,” a statement from the department said.
“This guidance is to provide guidance on the supply of flooring materials that are free from asbestos.”
Asbest said that it would “take the necessary measures to ensure that the materials comply with the health and safety requirements of Defra”.
The European Union is working to introduce a standard for the manufacture of asbestos-free flooring in 2020.
According to the European Commission, asbest is one of the largest producers of asbestos, and the company has been selling flooring and other products containing asbestos in Europe for more than 50 years.
In the US, there are several companies that are making asbestos-resistant flooring for residential and commercial use, including the American National Association of Home Builders.
The American Association of Respiratory Health and Occupational Safety Officials (AARHO) has reported that up to 70% of the US population has been exposed to asbestos dust.
It also said that there is evidence that asbestos dust causes lung cancer in people who smoke cigarettes.
In Europe, asbestos-containing products are sold in some countries such as Germany and France, but also in other countries, including Norway, Sweden and Belgium.
As well as the European directive, the US government is also looking at introducing a standard in 2020 for the use of asbestos insulation and flooring.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a voluntary report into the use and safety of asbestos.
It recommends that the use levels be raised to 70 parts per billion (ppb) and that asbestos-containing insulation be banned in homes and workplaces.