Safety In Asbestos Roof Removal

Asbestos becomes a risk whenever it gets disturbed in ways which turn out dust containing asbestos fibres. At home, asbestos-containing materials should not be a cause for alarm so long as the material remains undamaged and could be left in place if it not showing signs of any wear and tear as to pose an obvious risk to health.

Risks Posed
It is however advised that any insecurely tied asbestos materials only get removed by a licensed expert, because the health risks linked with handling such material are much higher greater than those posed by tightly-bound asbestos. Although in most cases house owners are legally permitted to undertake asbestos roof removal, this is not recommended.

For example, in the US, the 2007 Occupational Health & Safety Regulations provides that a person who is unlicenced may have non-friable asbestos material removed only if the area to be done is not in excess of 10m2 and that the total period during which the removal is done is not in excess of 1-hour during in any seven-day period. Asbestos poses several health risks while being removed, during the packaging, transportation and disposal.

Removal Tips
Asbestos fibres are hazardous and they pose a danger not only to yourself, but also to members of your family and the immediate neighbours. If you have decided to remove the asbestos yourself, it is strongly recommended that you handle with great care and adhere to the laid down safety practices. At the minimum, the following ought to be done :
  • Position around the house several plastic drop cloths which will gather any falling debris.
  • Keep other people from the location.
  • Ensure that you do not yourself track the substance back into the house.
  • Wear a respirator having P100 cartridge filters and avoid dust masks.
  • Put on disposable old clothing or disposable coveralls.
  • Before starting, wet down the materials and keep on wetting as you remove.
  • Try and avoid breaking up the roofing by working slowly to minimize chances of breakage.
  • Have the materials lowered to the ground and avoid throwing or dropping them.
  • Put all the contaminated materials and waste items in bags which are leak-tight.
  • Thoroughly wash off all the tools that have been used in the process.
  • Meticulously wash any portions of your skin which may have gotten exposed.
It is important to re-emphasize on discarding any clothing or coveralls which were worn during the process of removal. Disposing of the waste material appropriately is very vital. For this you could confirm with the local waste and garbage hauler if they could dispose of the substance for you. In case they do not undertake such activities, you may have to do the transportation yourself to the approved landfill.

In Australia a reference point when it comes to removal of asbestos materials would the Australian Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency. Established in July 2013, it offers a national focus on issues related to asbestos which go further than just safety at the workplace to include public health and environmental concerns. This Agency aims to make sure that issues concerning asbestos get the focus and attention required to promote positive change.
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