Disposing of Asbestos - What You Need To Know
We cover what you should and shouldn’t do in order to get rid of asbestos.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is the name given to a group of harmful fibres that until relatively recently were widely used in constructing, renovating and maintaining properties.
Although the use of asbestos has been banned since 1999, it still might be lying dormant in some older properties.
It’s possible that asbestos might be safely packaged away in a building and causing no harm whatsoever. But, if the packaging is ripped, torn or disturbed, then asbestos particles may become airborne, at which point everyone in the building would be at risk to exposure.
The Official stance
According to the Health and Safety Executive, if a building was built before the year 2000 then you should assume that it contains asbestos and act accordingly.
This is why it’s important to still take asbestos seriously, as you can’t be sure if it’s present in a building or not unless you’ve had it tested.
How dangerous is it?
Asbestos can be extremely harmful and can lead to a number of serious diseases, such as Mesothelioma, lung cancer and pleural thickening. Because it’s so harmful, you shouldn’t take any risks when it comes to exposure to asbestos.
Facts and Figures
According to the Health and Safety Executive, asbestos kills around 5,000 workers in the UK every year. Despite it being banned in the UK over twenty years ago, asbestos is still a very real threat. And it’s not just the UK which is at risk.
The following data is sourced from Asbestos.com, a long-standing leading advocacy centre providing resources and information for those affected by Mesothelioma:
- Approximately 90,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases globally every year
- Asbestos is the primary cause of work-related deaths in the world
- An estimated 125 million people worldwide are at risk of occupational exposure to asbestos
If you live in an older building and suspect that there may be asbestos present, the safest course of action is to get a qualified professional to survey your property as soon as possible.
How should I dispose of asbestos?
If you do happen to find something in your home which you suspect might be asbestos, the most important thing is to not touch it. You should not be the one disposing of asbestos.
Even if it looks like it’s wrapped up properly, the safest option is to keep your distance until you’ve received a professional opinion.
Get a survey
It’s extremely difficult to be able to tell just by sight whether a material contains asbestos and you’d need to send examples to a lab for testing.
While you might think you’re able to safely collect and dispose of asbestos yourself, this is never the recommended advice.
Once a qualified professional has surveyed your property, then you will know for certain whether asbestos is present.
This will grant you peace of mind if there’s no asbestos and will allow you to safely go ahead with either the removal and disposal or encapsulation of any existing asbestos.
Call a professional
These are the details to tell a professional if you are looking for help removing your asbestos or if you suspect you have asbestos that needs removing.
- Where it is or where you think it is
- How much you think there is
- When you need this done by
If you have DIY planned, don’t rush into it. We can respond quickly and on your schedule so it is better to be patient and get it removed properly.
Common questions we get about removing and disposing of asbestos
No. By doing this, you will be putting yourself and others at great risk. Asbestos should only be handled and disposed of by accredited professionals.
No, wearing gloves will provide minimal protection against asbestos. If the fibres are airborne, then you or others around you could inhale them, which is very dangerous. Never handle asbestos yourself under any circumstances.
No. As soon as you find something which you suspect might be asbestos, stay clear of it and call a professional. Even if it looks like it’s packaged up properly, it might not be. Also, a tip is not the appropriate place to dispose of asbestos.
No. The recommended advice is always to consult a professional. The equipment in the kits is basic and difficult to use if you have no prior experience. DIY kits are nowhere near as safe or reliable as hiring an accredited professional.
Asbestos can be extremely difficult to identify as it is often found mixed in with other materials. If you have any suspicions that asbestos may be present, you should contact a professional contractor. Samples need to be taken to confirm that there is asbestos.
Quick & efficient removal and disposal
Here at Colchester Asbestos Services, we provide a qualified and comprehensive asbestos removal service. Based in Colchester, we provide our asbestos disposal services across all of London, Suffolk, Kent and the South East. We are committed to quickly and safely removing asbestos in order to create a safer environment for everyone. We have the appropriate licences and training to work with asbestos.
Once we have confirmed that asbestos is present, a member of our team will perform the removal and disposal of the asbestos.
We are qualified and trained professionals who will deal with the asbestos in a safe and secure manner, removing the potential threat from your home as quickly as possible.
If you suspect that asbestos may be present in your home, or if you just want a survey taken to be on the safe side, then contact us to speak to a member of our experienced team.