ALERT stands for Asbestos Location Equipment in Real Time

It is the world’s first range of asbestos detection and monitoring devices for alerting tradespeople to the presence of deadly airborne asbestos fibers. Developed by the EU funded Alert Consortium, of which the EDA is an active member.



Asbestos is a category one human carcinogen. Asbestos exposure (even to a single fiber) can lead to a number of debilitating and often fatal diseases such as:

  • Mesothelioma,
  • Asbestosis,
  • Asbestos-related lung cancer and more

Asbestos-related illnesses can often take between 15-30 years to demonstrate symptoms making successful treatment once diagnosed highly improbable.


The ALERT Project

The objective of the initial ALERT detector is to provide working tradesmen (4,500 of whom die every year in the UK alone) with an affordable, portable, real-time detector to help minimize the risk of unintentional exposure to airborne asbestos fibers at work.

Research into light scattering airborne particles, as pioneered by the University of Hertfordshire (UH) in the late-1990’s, showed that when a particle is illuminated with a beam of light, it will scatter the light in a pattern dependent on the particle’s size, shape, and structure creating a ‘fingerprint’.

ALERT offers users a proactive warning system, similar in concept to a sophisticated smoke alarm by alerting them to the presence of asbestos in the air so that they may move to safety and take the appropriate course of action to contain the incidence.

The Alert Consortium comprises a group of concerned businesses working hard to create a cost-effective and portable way for tradespeople to get a rapid assessment of the atmosphere they work in.

Whilst the science behind Alert is the work of the University of Hertfordshire, the development and commercialization of Alert as is a European FP7 funded projected managed byThe Alert Project Consortium.

The AlertConsortium consists of: the University of Hertfordshire and the Institute of Biomechanics Valencia; Research and Development facility Intelligent Systems Research Institutes (ISRI); Professional trade organisations including: Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineers (CHIPE), Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA), British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) and European Demolition Association (EDA ), end-users within highly affected industries are I.DE.A. and AS Epler & Lorenz.

SME’s include Kepar Electronica from Spain and The Select Group of Companies Ltd, who is the manufacturer and exploitation expert within the consortium.