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How dangerous is it to remove asbestos?

Collaborative Post

Starting on a construction project often feels like things are going to be pretty simple. Whether you’re painting the ceiling or replacing your garage roof, you rarely start these kinds of projects with an appreciation for how risky certain parts of that process might be.

One risk factor that you’ll need to take into consideration is whether or not you need to remove any asbestos-containing materials from the premises. We’ve decided to provide a brief framework, to allow you to analyse the risks involved in any specific situation.

Is it actually asbestos?

The first step to assessing how dangerous it will be to remove a material that you suspect has asbestos in it is to test the material. You can get an asbestos test kit relatively easily, and then just have to put a sample of the relevant material in the post and wait to get your results.

While it can be fairly easy to visually assess whether a material contains asbestos once you know what to look for, it’s still important to carry out proper tests. As we’ll see, different kinds of asbestos carry different risks, and you’ll need to deal with them in an appropriate manner.

What kind of asbestos is it?

To properly assess the danger of removing asbestos, you’ll also need to recognise that there are different kinds of asbestos, with different risk profiles. Some are relatively self-contained, meaning that they don’t enter the air – and your lungs – quite so easily. Others, however, are highly volatile, and can very easily contaminate a space if dealt with in the wrong way.

The dangers of contamination

When removing asbestos, the main thing that you want to avoid is unnecessary contamination. If you’re dealing with a volatile kind of asbestos, it can easily enter the air and then spread throughout the property, ready to enter the air again and be inhaled in the future. This is the main risk that you’ll need to avoid; if you need to sell the property in the future, you might also need the paperwork to prove that the space was cleared of asbestos properly and is now risk-free.

Use a professional service

No matter what kind of asbestos you’re dealing with, it’s important that you use a professional removal service to get rid of it. As mentioned above, if you attempt to remove and dispose of asbestos in an inappropriate manner, you risk contaminating the whole property, not to mention the risk of personal exposure. Professional removal services will ensure that they’re using the right techniques and PPE to get rid of the specific material that they’re dealing with, whether that’s a wet technique or something else.

While all asbestos is dangerous to remove, certain materials are clearly more dangerous than others. Luckily, there are plenty of testing and removal services out there which allow you to deal with the highly toxic material in a safe and controlled manner. It’s absolutely not something we recommend messing around with – even if it seems easy to remove, don’t be tempted to do it yourself.

Photo by Heri Susilo on Unsplash

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