Posted on: 30 August 2018Share
If you discover that asbestos is present in your home or your business premises, then you have a choice. You can either opt to remove the asbestos or to ignore it. In many cases the safest thing to do is to leave it alone. Asbestos is not usually a problem until you need to disturb it. If you find asbestos in your ceiling insulation or your paint, then leaving it undisturbed can be the right thing to do. If you do need to take out the asbestos, perhaps because you are remodelling the area or because it may be damaged, then you must ensure that asbestos removal takes place safely and in accordance with the relevant regulations.
Why is asbestos a problem?
Asbestos that is left alone isn't generally a problem. It is when the tiny asbestos fibres are disturbed and become airborne that there can be a serious health risk. If you inhale asbestos fibres, they will become trapped in your lungs, which can put you at risk of lung cancer, asbestosis and similarly serious medical conditions. By following the proper asbestos removal procedures, you minimise your potential exposure to the dangerous asbestos fibres.
Can you dispose of asbestos yourself?
It is possible to carry out asbestos removal yourself, but all asbestos removal must be completed using the right processes by carefully following the official guidelines. Because of this it is advised that you use a professional asbestos removal service who have experience in this hazardous procedure.
What does safe asbestos removal look like?
Asbestos removal should always start by sealing off the area that contains asbestos before spraying the asbestos with water to prevent the fibres becoming airborne. The team removing the asbestos will need to wear special breathing apparatuses to stop them inhaling any fibres while they are at work. All clothes and work gear worn while working with asbestos will need to be thoroughly decontaminated or destroyed. The asbestos itself will need to be stored in asbestos removal bags and either buried or preferably exposed to thermal decomposition. If asbestos is sufficiently heated (above 1000 degrees Celsius) it becomes a harmless silicate. Further heating of the silicate will produce a silicate glass which can then be used as a basis for bricks, floor tiles and similar materials.
It is both the complexity of safely removing asbestos and the difficulties of disposing of asbestos debris that make asbestos removal a job that is best left to qualified professionals.