If people do discover asbestos to be present - whether it is in their home or during construction work on a commercial building – their initial feeling could be one of panic, especially given the potentially lethal nature of the fibres.

But, with some due care and attention, asbestos management does not have to be complicated and there are some simple steps individuals or contracting firms should take.

How to Remove Asbestos

Official government guidance notes asbestos is only dangerous if it is disturbed, so homeowners do not have to worry if it is merely present in their property. However, it should still ne removed ASAP in a controlled manner, by professionals who know what they are doing. In today's DIY-centric world, it is easier than you think to carry out some work and be exposed without knowing it.

If concerned about the presence of asbestos, there are ways to protect yourself. PPE should always be worn when carrying out any DIY work, but protective breathing and eye equipment is particularly important in this instance.

  • Asbestos removal should never be carried out by anyone who does not know what they are doing; always contact your local council, or a site's Health and Safety point of contact, to arrange professional removal.

How is asbestos dealt with?

It was once advised that decorators could simply cover asbestos, by wallpapering over it using a very sticky adhesive, or by covering with gloss paint. This is NOT recommended; please always get asbestos removed.

Waste containing more than 0.1 per cent asbestos is classed as hazardous/special waste. You must deal with this waste as hazardous/special waste. Asbestos should be double-bagged and disposed of in a covered skip. If accessible by members of the public, such as on a roadside, this skip must be locked.

Disposal will include any materials which have come into contact with asbestos, such as the clothing and protective equipment worn during the removal. Asbestos waste should not be mixed with any other form of waste. Asbestos waste, and the skip, should clearly be labelled with the asbestos warning signs.

When removed, the waste disposal company which transports asbestos waste must comply with the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations. The skip and waste must be dropped off at dedicated asbestos removal sites; this may not be your most local waste site.

If anyone is concerned about asbestos removal, the government urges them to contact their local council for help.

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