Asbestos is known to be dangerous and is one of the leading causes of cancer. Inhaling often concentrated asbestos can lead to a number of conditions, which is why removing them should be the no.1 priority of any home or building other. That said if the asbestos is undisturbed it can be harmless as well as fire resistant. Plus because it is comprised of mostly natural minerals it is in the air that we breathe albeit not in concentrated amounts.
However, there are times when asbestos may not always lie dormant for instance when a piece of popcorn from your ceiling falls down, or if an old floor needs to be removed. While the safest thing for any homeowner to do is to call a professional or a professional certified company to do the removal for them. But if you choose to do it yourself to save money there are a number of things you should be very careful of when handling this often deadly fiber.
The most dangerous are friable fibers, this happens when the asbestos crumbles and as a result even the slightest of breeze can send it into the air. These are very dangerous fibers and can make breathing difficult when in large concentrations.
Asbestos is a Greek word that means “indestructible” because it is indestructible. Under a microscope these fibers look like small hooks and so when they get into your lungs they will latch on to the soft tissue inside and refuse to dissolve. This will overtime damage your lungs by literally shredding the tissue which results in breathing problems and eventual death. The time it takes for this to happen is around 14 years. This is why it is important that you handle asbestos very carefully.
Always wear a mask
Asbestos can easily enter your body via your nostrils which is why you need to invest in a good mask. You can find one at most hardware stores and does not cost more than $100. Make sure that you buy heavy duty masks that have a snout fixture located on the front. The snout will have a series of filters that prevents these deadly fibers from getting into your body.
Always read the packaging to make sure that you buy a mask that is specifically meant for asbestos not mold. That said even when wearing these masks you may still be at risk when using a machine used to generate negative air.
Cordon off your work area
The key to proper asbestos removal is to stop asbestos from getting into safe or uncontaminated parts of your home. You will have to seal off the area you work on using heavy plastic sheets. The seal needs to be air tight because you’ll certainly want to avoid having a slight breeze carrying tiny asbestos fibers to all parts of your home.
Be dressed correctly
Your lungs are not the only things that tiny asbestos fibers can hook on to, they can easily attach to your clothing just as easily. So, before you attempt asbestos removal be sure to wear a material that is not porous and is very easy to clean off. That said you’ll want to discard what you wear once you’re done with the removal process. Also cover you head with a plastic sheet or a plastic cap to protect your hair.
Make sure to wet all areas
You will need to use a special water and chemical mixture to prevent the fibers from flying into the air. If you do not have this mixture you can just use water. The idea is to ensure that the materials stay wet to the point where they cannot fly into the air. If you live in a dry part of the world you’ll want to wet the area every few minutes just to be safe.
Disposing of asbestos after removal
Disposing of asbestos after removal is difficult and you need to follow the guidelines laid down by the Australian government. The best way to dispose of asbestos is to call up a few hazardous waste facilities and ask if they will accept asbestos. There are some places that just operate a few days every month while some are permanent sites open just on weekends. Asbestos Removal recommends that people take these factors into consideration before you remove asbestos from your home.
Mark is one of the leading experts on hazardous waste removal. He has been in the asbestos removal industry for over a decade and specializes in removing a number of different hazardous wastes from buildings. He has also written extensively about asbestos removal on his blog.