Why asbestos removal is a job for professionals

Asbestos is a fibrous material and was one of the most popular choices for things such as insulation for properties built between the 1950s and 1980s. Although it is no longer used, it is still found in a range of materials in older buildings including roofs and insulation boards. When asbestos is found, many may feel that they are capable of removing it themselves; however, there are strict safety and health regulations that must be followed in order to protect the remover and anyone nearby which are not fully known by the general public.

The impact asbestos has on health
Asbestos is a highly dangerous material that affects your health but many are unaware of the severity of its impact. Once asbestos is inhaled, it causes microscopic asbestos fibres to enter the lungs that over time cause lasting damage.

Those who are not trained in its removal will fall victim to the fact that inhalation is symptomless and does not cause a person to cough, sneeze or itch. Long term exposure of asbestos can lead to lung tissues becoming irritated and often turning into more severe illnesses such as COPD, asbestosis and cancer.

The importance of proper and safe removal
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), if asbestos does not appear to be damaged or dangerous, it is not always necessary to remove it. Licensed professionals are trained to fully assess the severity of asbestos and will know that unnecessarily disturbing it can lead to the fibres becoming airborne. Sometimes, encapsulation and an annual re-inspection by a professional is a safer option.

When it is necessary for asbestos to be removed, there are very strict regulations on the handling and disposing of asbestos-containing materials and it is imperative that the correct tools are used and that PPE is worn. Following this, specific guidelines must be followed when disposing of the contaminated PPE and tools. Doing this ensures the remover is kept safe and eliminates the chance of asbestos cross-contamination.

If asbestos is found within the workplace, it then becomes the responsibility of the employer to ensure it is safely removed by a qualified contractor and that all staff are fully trained in understanding the dangers of asbestos exposure under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

Strict waste transportation rules
In order to then transport the waste, it is necessary to hold a waste carriers licence, have a sealed skip and complete a waste consignment note which must then be kept for a minimum of 3 years.

Not every landfill site will accept the disposal of asbestos waste and those that do, only accept it once double wrapped and clearly showing a CDG hazard label and asbestos code information – highlighting the importance of using a professional.

The impact of asbestos removal on the environment
Improper removal of asbestos can lead to loose fibres then being released into the atmosphere, making it extremely toxic and affecting all the surrounding environment. This increases the risk of water supplies becoming contaminated, leading to the possibility of it then becoming uninhabitable for vegetation and local wildlife.

Professionals are trained to be able to dispose of and contain asbestos underground to maintain safety to the surrounding environment. This is then relatively harmless when left undisturbed. Improper disposal underground can lead to the surrounding soil becoming comprised leading to the further release of fibre and dust into the atmosphere.

Are you worried that you may need asbestos removal? Weaver Demolition has carried out asbestos removal services in the South West, Cornwall & Devon since 1968 and
ensures safe removal with minimum disruption. We employ totally independent UKAS approved analysts to undertake air sampling and bulk sampling in full compliance with EN450001 to ensure that the work is carried out in a completely safe manner.

Demolition services in the South West, Cornwall & Devon since 1968

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