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The Rules Around Handling and Disposing Asbestos

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29/10/2021

Asbestos is a very sensitive material to handle because of its toxicity. It's so toxic that simply inhaling its fibres can cause significant harm to your body. Asbestos is harmless when it's still intact, but once it gets broken down and the fibres are released, it's the last thing you want to be around.

 

During construction and renovations, asbestos fibres are all over, so you want to take extraordinary precautions if you're going to handle and dispose of asbestos. Asbestos disposal is so strict that there are even laws surrounding it.

 

There are two types of asbestos you should take note of; friable and non-friable. Friable asbestos has been acted upon to break under pressure. This includes squeezing it with your hands, thereby releasing the asbestos fibres in the air. Friable asbestos can usually be seen when work is being done on a construction site or renovations; there'll be a lot of powdered asbestos in the air.

 

Non-friable asbestos is the state of asbestos when it has been mixed with other materials such as cement which gives it a hardened state. It is difficult to break non-friable cement unless it's destroyed or degrades, which, at this point, becomes friable asbestos.

 

Non-friable asbestos isn't toxic because the asbestos fibres are still in check, while friable asbestos is the type that poses a danger to you, your family, and the environment. Some things you should do while handling and disposing of asbestos are: 

Calling a Professional

 

This is the first thing you should know about asbestos disposal; never handle it yourself. Only professionals are well trained and equipped to handle asbestos. Handling asbestos yourself is a sure way to expose yourself to dangerous asbestos fibres that cause a wide range of diseases. 

 

If asbestos was a fairly harmless material, you could've handled it yourself, but the danger it poses has made its handling very hazardous. Not any waste professional can even handle asbestos disposal, but they have to be licensed asbestos professionals.

 

There are a lot of DIY hacks online on how to handle asbestos, but you should call in a professional to be on the safe side. 

Close Off the Area

 

You can still assist professionals even if you're not licensed to handle asbestos disposal. After you've identified the asbestos-containing materials, wet them to keep the asbestos fibres in check so they don't escape into the air. 

 

It's best to do this right before you call the professionals, so you have the asbestos under control. It would help if you also did this while wearing protective equipment such as goggles, respirators, hazmat suits etc. 

 

You can get your asbestos protecting equipment from Metrowaste. If you're planning a construction project, you should have protective equipment ready.

Decontamination

 

Set protocols in place such that workers that have come in contact with the asbestos waste remove all their contaminated clothes and equipment. A speck of asbestos, no matter how little, is still harmful so ensure you don't let your workers wear their clothes home.

 

When dealing with asbestos, all you need to know is that a professional should be called in, and people who come in contact with it should be decontaminated. 

 

Metrowaste is a licensed asbestos waste company you can trust to handle your asbestos. Contact us so that we can take care of your asbestos waste immediately. You don't want to remain in contact with it for much longer.