The HSE in England advise in the FAQ section of their website here "Many cases of inadvertent, short-term exposure to asbestos will most likely have led to minimal exposure to fibres, with little likelihood of any long-term ill health effects" and yet their Leaflet EM1 (same source) warns, on discovering damaged asbestos, to stop work immediately and get everyone out of the room. Further advice states that only asbestos in good condition is safe (implying that all asbestos which is damaged is not).
Following this logic, if I were to inadvertently damage an asbestos ceiling tile, there would be little likelihood of any long-term ill health effects, but if someone else damaged it and I discovered the damage, it would become a danger in need of immediate evacuation and remedial action. These two statements seem contradictory.
Furthermore, this source here suggests that anything other than loose insulation and AIB produces less than 0.1 fibres/ml even when worked on, much less when damaged. Exposures to this level even for a week two would give yearly exposure of less than 0.003f/ml.y. This source here gives risks from these levels lower than 1:100,000.
The HSE list 1:100,000 as the guideline for acceptable risk (HSE 1999). So are the HSE over stepping their own risk guidelines when suggesting any emergency action needs to be taken on discovering anything other than loose asbestos and severely damaged AIB?
For clarity - The HSE, by their own standards, only include action to reduce risks to health which are greater than 1:100,000 (HSE 1999). Inclusion of advice (especially mandatory advice) in their publications therefore carries an implicit claim that the un-mitigated activity carries a risk to health greater than 1:100,000. Their advice to "evacuate the room" on the discovery of any damaged asbestos, and that all damaged asbestos is unsafe, implies that the risk to health from all damaged asbestos over short periods of time is greater than 1:100,000. The evidence I've been able to source seems to suggest that this figure would only be the case for very specific asbestos applications and damage types, hence my question here.