Safe Handling And Removal Of Asbestos

Eugene Vargas

If you suspect that you have asbestos in your home, it is recommended that you have the asbestos inspected, tested and removed by a licensed company who can do the job for you. However, a homeowner is legally entitled to remove the asbestos themselves. This article gives some information to consider regarding asbestos and advice for the safe handling and removal of asbestos.

Things To Consider

If you are thinking of working with asbestos, consider if you really have to remove the material it is in. Asbestos in material which is in a good or undamaged condition does not pose a risk to health. Explore other options, such as sealing, or covering the material with a non-asbestos product. If you discover large amounts of asbestos in your home, would it be safer to hire a specialist to remove it? Remember, asbestos can affect not only you and your family, but your neighbors as well. If you have to work with asbestos, follow these tips carefully.

Working With Asbestos

When removing material containing asbestos, the following points are very important:

  • Never use compressed air
  • Never use power tools
  • Never use a high pressure hose
  • Never use abrasive sand or cutting discs
  • Never leave asbestos filled materials lying about; dispose of the material immediately
  • Make sure the material is wet, and remains wet while you work with it.

Make sure your work area is well ventilated when removing asbestos, and never walk on a corrugated cement roof containing asbestos; you may fall through and release the asbestos.

 Personal Protective Safety Equipment

You should wear disposable personal protective equipment, which includes breathing apparatus, when working with asbestos, and place this equipment into a plastic bag when finished. Double wrap the bag, mark with the word 'asbestos' and take it to your local waste treatment center. Let a member of staff know what is in the bag so it can be dealt with properly.

Disposing Of Asbestos

Before removing the material with asbestos, contact your local authority to check for any rules regarding the removal of asbestos, as the rules can differ from state to state. It is recommended to remove the material with asbestos from the site as soon as you can. Check with the authority as to whether there is a particular treatment area they use for this, and how much the cost is. Also, check if there is a limit to the amount of material you can dispose of. Do not forget to confirm opening times of this center as well. The asbestos should be placed and double wrapped in thick plastic disposable sacks that are tied securely. Again, mark the bags with 'asbestos' to warn other of the contents of the bags. Take these bags to the center you inquired about as soon as you possibly can.

If you are transporting the asbestos materials in a truck to the disposal center, make absolutely sure it is secured safely to the vehicle, and no bags will be ripped, allowing material to leave the plastic bags.