After renovation, construction, and demolition of any residential or commercial building, it is best to think about asbestos disposal. In construction debris, asbestos may be present—one can never underestimate the health risks that come when asbestos is left into the air. Exposure with asbestos when inhaled as dust contributes to human health risks like airborne diseases and risk of lung cancer.
Disposal of asbestos is a priority when you’ve discovered and removed asbestos in your property. The first way to handle asbestos is to leave it in place; however, some materials containing asbestos is dangerous, that serious removal and disposal should be left to the professionals.
It is best to hire licensed contractors for removal and accredited specialists for disposal as this requires special handling and management. But if you decide to remove and dispose of asbestos yourself, take these safety precautions and tips:
Beginning the work
Start with checking with your local environmental protection and management sites that accept asbestos disposal. Know how and where is asbestos disposed. Ask for requirements such as appropriate asbestos disposal bags to use.
- Wear masks and protective equipment. Also, secure adequate protection to your family, or workers if you’re in a commercial space. Use double-strapped masks, gloves, and safety eyewear like goggles as clothing precautions.
- Keep important equipment, especially at home when there are children’s toys and materials, as well as curtains and carpets that could trap asbestos dust and later potentially escape back into the air.
- Family members, pets, and other workers who are not working on asbestos removal and disposal should leave the area where asbestos work is present. Safety signs are also a good help as a precaution.
- Turn off air conditioning or heating.
During asbestos removal
If you’ve already furnished your asbestos register and management plan, well and good. But with their absence, it’s best to take these measures:
- Cover work area with plastic. Use heavy-duty plastic sheets under the asbestos-containing material to securely prevent loose asbestos waste that may contaminate the flooring.
- Spray the asbestos material with water. This will reduce the risk of asbestos fibres from circulating into the air.
- Work cautiously by avoiding breakage of materials into smaller pieces because this will only release much of the asbestos dust.
Cleaning, transport and disposal
- Carefully wrap the plastic sheets used. Seal cautiously by double-taping it and put in asbestos disposal bags. Be sure to clearly label that it contains asbestos.
- Stack the asbestos bags directly over each other. Prevent it from slipping or sliding.
- Thoroughly clean the entire work area using a wet cloth. Include this and all protective clothing, coveralls, and gloves used as they may have contact with the asbestos dust. Place everything in disposable bags and label accordingly.
Depending on what is the directive of your local disposal facility, know where asbestos waste disposal sites are and transport and safely dispose the bags. Be properly equipped and informed and always take extreme precautions during asbestos disposal.
About asbestos professionals
The most ideal approach when finding, removing and handling asbestos is to employ specialists. With appropriate training and equipment, these professionals can do asbestos identification, testing, inspection, and management.