Asbestos Soil Contamination occurs when asbestos materials are left lying on the ground without any form of packaging. This asbestos soil contamination usually happens when the materials are disposed off carelessly by people trying to avoid the cost that comes with hiring licensed asbestos contractors, and instead decide to do the task themselves.
Friable asbestos is the type of asbestos commonly found in soil contaminated with asbestos. This is because it's loose and light in weight, thus making it easily airborne. People living in the area are at a risk of becoming sick if they inhale the asbestos fibre. Therefore, this problem should be dealt with with utmost urgency to reduce exposure to the dangerous material.
There are also asbestos cement materials that may be damaged if they have been disturbed by breaking, drilling or cutting, thus releasing fibres into the open air. The fibres become a health hazard because they can be easily inhaled once they are present in the air.
Here are some important safety precautions you need to consider while working on contaminated soil:
- Let your neighbours know about the soil contaminated with asbestos. Tell them about the proposal of removing the asbestos material and related risks that come with such a task. Finally, advise them to close all their windows and doors to reduce the possibility of fibres getting into their building.
- Cover the contaminated soil with plastic papers to avoid spreading of fibres to the good soil.
- Keep your vehicles and other personal belongings away from the area that has contaminated soil.
- During the removal process, stay away from the area until the removal process is over and the area has been declared safe again.
- Follow the guidelines provided by Environment Protection Authority in your state in order to correctly dispose asbestos waste. The waste should be disposed only in areas designated for such waste. Asbestos waste should not be disposed in the usual garbage dump because the chance of spreading it to other areas is high. There is also a risk of other people being exposed to such a poisonous substance.
- Have the packages with asbestos waste clearly labelled. The packages should be made of very thick, sealed polythene bags.
- While packaging asbestos waste, ensure that it is wet to reduce chances of inhaling loose particles.
- Also, when performing any task involving asbestos, always put on a respirator to ensure that you don't inhale the fibres.
- Ensure that the area is well cleaned up after the job is done. This ensures that no fibre has been left behind.
- Most importantly, consider hiring a licensed asbestos removal contactor to do the work for you. This will ensure that the work is done properly, according to the Local Government Environmental Health Office in Australia.
Asbestos contaminated soil is very dangerous and can lead to very serious health conditions. It is therefore important to take the precautions listed above seriously. These precautions will help you reduce the risks that come with exposure to asbestos.