In many old buildings, there is still asbestos present. It is a fibrous material which is not flammable. It was employed mainly as a fire protective covering during the construction of buildings.
As we know today, asbestos can cause cancer and lead to scarring of the lung tissue. If there are is certain concentration of asbestos fibres measured indoors, the building must be made completely free of asbestos. This is also called asbestos removal.
It depends on the scale, but removing asbestos can be a tricky process. Often, steel structures were wrapped with asbestos fibres to ensure fire safety and these fibres must be removed by hand. It is often also worked with a suction system, so that the restoration can be done more effectively.
So that no one health threat is exposed, the building needs to be unoccupied for a period after removal. When the toxic substances are present in the atmosphere, removal workers must be equipped with a special protective suit. Only after measurements are carried out and the building is thoroughly cleaned, can it be re-entered normally.
The asbestos removal can be quite an undertaking and as such, the building at which the works are being carried out will need to be conditioned appropriately. Only a specialised company would have the experience and knowledge to do this effectively. This includes a dust-proof sealing of the building so that the tiny glass fibres are not released into the environment. The interior of the building in which such rehabilitation is carried out, must also be kept under negative pressure. The rooms may only be entered or exited through a lock system.
In an asbestos removal, the proper disposal of affected materials plays a major role. Because asbestos contains certain toxins, most landfills will not accept this kind of waste. Different waste treatment methods have been developed however. However, since there are – as yet – no ideal forms of disposal, bringing the asbestos waste to a local recycling centre can be the only option. It is then wrapped in large packages and covered with mineral material to prevent the release of toxic fibres.
As an individual cannot perform asbestos removal due to the complexity and risks attached, it must be commissioned through a company that has been approved by the competent authorities. To attempt otherwise, could mean becoming contaminated inadvertently.
For further information about asbestos removal, call us on 0845 459 4842 or visit our contact us page to fill out a short enquiry form.
The greatest risk when removing asbestos occurs by inhaling its fibres. This is more likely to occur to those who repair or remove asbestos-containing materials as any remaining suspended particles may be released into the atmosphere. This is more likely when considering brittle or eroded materials or those which are subject to cuts or abrasions when being removed.
Therefore, when one removes or repairs materials containing asbestos, or works in potentially contaminated sites with asbestos naturally, it’s advisable to follow the following recommendations:
Precautions when removing asbestos
It is recommended that asbestos removal is performed by specialist companies that have qualified personnel and are equipped both to diagnose its presence, and to proceed to withdrawals and the major overhaul of material.
It is very important that you do not handle or remove loose materials containing asbestos yourself. Always contact experts in asbestos removal, as they have the relevant experience in carrying out jobs like this in the correct manner. Before the beginning of each job, the company must prepare an asbestos management plan.
The plan should specify:
• Description of work to be done specifying the type of activity that applies: demolition, removal, maintenance or repair work etc. • The types of material involved, whether friable (lagging, insulating panels, etc.) or non-friable (cement, vinyl asbestos, etc.), indicating the quantities of asbestos or materials handled. • Location where they will be doing work. • The starting date and the expected duration of work. • Nominal list of employees directly involved in work or contact with material containing asbestos and occupational categories such as trades, training and experience of such workers in the specified jobs. • Procedures to be followed and the particularities required for the adequacy of those procedures to perform specific work. • The preventative measures referred to limit the dispersion of asbestos fibres into the environment and the measures taken to limit the exposure of workers to asbestos. • The equipment used for the protection of workers, specifying the nature and number of decontamination units and the type and usage of personal protective equipment. • Measures taken to avoid exposing others in the vicinity where the work is performed. • Measures to inform workers about the risks they are exposed to and the precautions to be taken. • Measures to put waste, in accordance with current legislation indicating a landfill manager and company. • Procedure for the evaluation and control of the working environment in accordance with the standard regulations.
If asbestos is affecting your home or business or if you just want to know more about the subject, then listed below are a range of valuable websites packed with useful advice.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/ One of the best places to begin your search, the HSE contains all kinds of information, extra resources, FAQs and advice for all. This includes tradespeople, building owners, licensed contractors or members of the public. With facts on asbestos, the dangers and up to date news stories too, you should definitely take a look here.
http://www.aic.org.uk/ The Asbestos Information Centre is another massive resource with countless articles and information. Featuring the latest in regulations, technical information, lists of asbestos removal companies, and lots of asbestos management tips, the AIC website is the perfect place to visit.
http://www.asbestoswatchdog.co.uk/home This handy website is especially good if you need to know how aspects of the law affect sites with asbestos. There is also well mapped out sections on the science behind asbestos, advice and image galleries too.
http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/asbestos.htm From a DIY website, this page may be short, but it packs some very useful information. This includes a video clip highlighting how to safely remove asbestos after inspection and a link to a Local Authority Database, so you can find out more information in your area.
Following on from this, it is advisable that you always contact your Local Council website for more information about how to deal with asbestos where you live.
http://www.take5andstayalive.com/t/what-is-asbestos For a succinct breakdown of what asbestos is, then read this small website. It has 5 clear pages, all concisely written and includes where asbestos can be found, what the risks are and information for those that work close to asbestos.
http://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/uk/ Focusing mainly on the health side of asbestos, the dangers, consequences and tips for those affected, this is a large resource that is full of important advice.
http://www.iatp.org.uk/ Related to the above is the iatp website, which specialises in finding your company the best asbestos training course available. With a huge database and other information on asbestos, this fulfils a lot of criteria if you want your staff trained in asbestos awareness.