Asbestos removal is a very delicate process that if not done correctly can be very dangerous. It is one of the materials that has received a lot of backlashes recently, and for good reason. It is one of the most deadly, commonly used materials that you can find, and its use only dropped after it was made illegal.
Did you know that until the 1970’s Asbestos was known as the miracle mineral, and was being implemented in almost any building material that you could think of? Why wouldn’t it? It was sturdy, cheap to produce, easy to get and fire-resistant, but it had a deadly feature that the asbestos industry kept trying to hide and deny for many years: It is qualified as one of the most carcinogenic materials, mainly attacking the lungs, skin, and brain.
Before Asbestos was made illegal, it was used everywhere, from insulation, home paint, metal paint, floor and ceiling tiles, roof shingles, pipes, filler material, and a lot more. Any asbestos that is present on your home is a constant risk that you should handle appropriately as soon as you can.
Why is not all asbestos removed already?
Depending on the form of asbestos, it could be more dangerous or less dangerous. The main danger of asbestos it when it turns to dust and is absorbed by the lungs. Some forms are more solid and less susceptible to releasing airborne particles, and some less so, but any product containing asbestos holds an underlying risk that whenever damaged can seriously impact the health of everyone around it.
How does the asbestos removal process work?
It is so dangerous, that it is in fact against the law to inappropriately remove, label or dispose of it. That is why you are obligated to follow all of the procedures for asbestos removal correctly or hire a company that can do that for you.
In order to remove asbestos, specialized clothing is needed, that can insulate the technician from the harmful material. The masks that are used need to be high quality not to allow any of the small asbestos fibers to penetrate, and they need to be put carefully to avoid spaces. No part of the skin need to be left revealed and in contact with asbestos, and the entire area needs to be covered with plastic sheets so that the asbestos doesn’t get into small spaces that are difficult to clean.
Steps to remove asbestos as safely as possible:
- The work area should be cordoned off, for ensuring unprotected people cannot enter the area.
- Those people removing the asbestos sheet should wear suitable protective equipment (disposable coveralls and a P2 respirator).
- The asbestos material should be wet down prior to removal, except where this would be dangerous (e.g. on a roof).
- Damaging or breaking the bonded asbestos should be prevented.
- Keep activities to a minimum where damaged asbestos materials may be found.
- Plastic drop sheets should be used, and all surfaces then wet wiped after removal is completed (i.e. wiped over with a damp cloth).
- Decontamination of the people removing the asbestos will include disposing coveralls and wiping boots (with waste materials to be bagged in plastic) and showering to remove any dust particles on the skin.
- Where possible, work should be performed in well-ventilated areas or in the open air.