Features, Waste & Resource Recovery

Modern challenges for asbestos removal

The use of asbestos was banned in Australia in 2004 immediately after the industry recognition of the life-threatening dangers associated with the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Medical conditions resulting from exposure to asbestos can take as long as 10 to 20 years to reveal themselves. Despite this ban, Australians still suffer from the consequences of existing buildings containing asbestos.

Unfortunately, there is a modern challenge due to a general lack of understanding of the significant challenges posed to businesses and government bodies in managing asbestos. This ignorance results in a disregard for asbestos rules leading to the failure of managing and heavy penalties imposed upon lawbreakers.

Although there is plenty of educational information on asbestos publicly available, affected groups are ignorant to where asbestos is located within building structures, the extent of the risks associated with it and the necessary control measures for containing those risks.

When it comes to dealing with asbestos, it’s best to hire an asbestos abatement company due to the hazardous nature of asbestos. In certain circumstances, self-employed persons are legally allowed to remove asbestos without a licence, however, there are plenty of rules and regulations to follow such as the Removing Asbestos in the Workplace Compliance Code.

To remove asbestos, appropriate measures are required to eliminate the release of airborne asbestos fibers. The area that is being treated is then sealed completely to prevent any escape of contaminated air. A liquid is then sprayed to the problem area to increase moisture in the air, which makes the particle density higher so they can’t become airborne. Once the asbestos becomes saturated, contractors use a pry bar and knife to remove the asbestos followed by immediate packing of the asbestos in removal bags. These removal bags are double sealed to ensure moisture remains in the bag at all times.

Once asbestos is removed from a building, there is an obligation to dispose of it at a hazardous waste disposal site licensed by the state EPA. These waste disposal sites use thermal decomposition to change the composition of asbestos into a harmless silicate by heating it to over 1,000 degrees Celsius. To turn the silicate into a recyclable product, a further heating process takes place making it into a silicate glass used in producing floor tiles and bricks.

When it comes to safety, it’s always smarter to engage licensed asbestos removalists with a successful track record. Asbestos removal contractors are legally required to wear protective gear such as high-grade breathing apparatuses in case of any risk of exposure to asbestos fibres released in the air. A full decontamination process is required by law before contractors leave the premises. This includes removing and disposing of all exposed work gear and attire with the mandatory requirement of thorough washing of any exposed skin.

Highly skilled and experienced asbestos removal companies are able to minimise disruption to the workplace while effectively removing asbestos completely from the affected area. This means less downtime in business operations which is always ideal for the business owner.

AAH Contracting specialises in safely removing and managing all types of friable (class A) asbestos materials in Victoria & Tasmania.