The Importance of Professional Asbestos Removal
Why must asbestos be disposed of professionally?
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in construction and other industries due to its fire-resistant and insulating properties. Its uses are thought to be traced back as far as 4000 BC when it was used on candle wicks. In addition, evidence suggests that over 4500 years ago, people in Finland used asbestos to strengthen posts and cooking utensils.
During the industrial age of the mid-1800s, asbestos went on to be widely used in many industries for boilers, pipes and building materials. The fire retardant and insulating nature of this naturally occurring mineral caused it to be a popular construction material for many years.
Around the beginning of the 1900s, scientists started to realise the negative health impact of asbestos. Furthermore, they later discovered that exposure to asbestos fibres could lead to serious health problems, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.
Because of the prevalent use of asbestos in the construction industry from the 1950s to 1970s, before the UK eventually banned its use in the 1980s, many buildings in the UK still contain asbestos in their structure.
Asbestos is found in many buildings constructed in the UK before 2000 in walls and ceilings, roof panels, and sheet metals. Disturbing any structures containing asbestos can send invisible fibres into the air, which can be inhaled, posing significant health risks. As a result, it is essential to remove asbestos safely and professionally to minimise the risk of exposure.
Professional asbestos removal is necessary to ensure the removal process is completed safely and correctly. In addition, removing asbestos requires specialised equipment and knowledge, and it is essential to ensure that trained professionals with the necessary experience and skills carry out the process.
What is involved in asbestos removal?
There are several steps involved in professional asbestos removal, including:
Identification - The first step in the removal process is to identify the presence of asbestos. This can be done through a visual inspection or the use of specialised testing equipment and trusted laboratory services.
Containment - Once asbestos has been identified, the area must be adequately contained to prevent the spread of asbestos fibres. This can be done by sealing off the area with plastic sheeting and creating a negative-pressure environment.
Removal - The next step is to remove the asbestos. This can be done through various methods, including wetting down the material, using specialised cutting tools, or simply removing the material as a whole. This must be carried out by specially trained people, like the team at Wastege, to avoid any unnecessary spread of harmful fibres.
Disposal - After the asbestos has been removed, it must be properly disposed of. Asbestos is classified as hazardous waste and must be disposed of in accordance with local regulations. Wastege are fully licenced to handle the disposal of any harmful asbestos.
Why should I dispose of asbestos professionally?
Professional asbestos removal is essential for several reasons:
Health and Safety - The most important reason for professional asbestos removal is to minimise the risk of exposure leading to serious health problems.
Legal Requirements – In many cases, it is a legal requirement to remove and dispose of asbestos professionally. Failure to do so can result in fines and other penalties.
Cost Savings - While removing asbestos yourself may seem more cost-effective, this is often not the case. Professional asbestos removal companies have the necessary equipment and expertise to remove asbestos safely and efficiently, which can result in cost savings over the long term.
Peace of Mind - By using a professional asbestos removal company, you can know that the removal process is being carried out safely and properly. This is particularly important for property owners and tenants, who are responsible for ensuring that the property is free of asbestos.
Incorrectly disposing of asbestos can have hugely detrimental effects on your business. Firstly, you can be subject to fines and legal action if you do not correctly remove and dispose of asbestos. The health impact on your staff or visitors is also a significant concern. According to the HSE, the number of new cases of breathing or lung problems caused by the workplace reached around 17,000 in 2020. This can impact your business's finances in loss of work hours or even in legal action from people suffering from the effects of asbestos fibres.
In conclusion, professional asbestos removal is a necessary and important step in minimising the risk of exposure to hazardous asbestos fibres that can cause serious health problems. However, the removal process requires specialised equipment and knowledge. Using a professional asbestos removal company like Wastege, you can ensure that the removal process is carried out safely and properly and that you have peace of mind knowing that your property is free of asbestos.
If you need any more information or want your building assessed for the potential presence of asbestos, get in touch with the specialist team at Wastege, who will be happy to answer any of your questions.