Brisbane CBD Asbestos Disposal

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos was a commonly used building material, till it was universally recognized as a major risk. It was used in roofing, in drainage pipes, as wall covering for insulation and many other purposes. Materials that contain asbestos pose no risk as long as they do not deteriorate or get damaged. When this unfortunate damage does occur, asbestos fibres get airborne and cause severe health problems when inhaled. This has led to the authorities in Brisbane CBD and other places insisting on asbestos removal to be conducted in properties and buildings in that area, after due inspection of the asbestos-containing materials.

Asbestos as a building material was popular because of its low costs, insulating, and fire resistant properties and moderate weight. Asbestos does tend to deteriorate over time, especially if it is in dry conditions and does not have any protective paint applied to it. Friable asbestos forms powder when any pressure is applied to it. Asbestos fibre when it is airborne can lead to silicosis and even cancer when it is inhaled by living beings.

Non-friable asbestos contains a bonding compound that holds the fibres together and is less likely to become dangerous. Any asbestos removal must be undertaken by professionals who are aware of the dangers of removing asbestos and take all the necessary precautions to avoid any health hazards. Any removal action must be well thought of and needs to have a proper control plan. The plan has to focus on measures to control the risk of exposure to asbestos. In Brisbane, this job is best left to contractors who are licensed by the authorities and have all the necessary safety and other equipment necessary for safe removal. This agency must inspect the site and identify all the asbestos that is needed to be removed. They can also carry out monitoring of the air to know whether asbestos fibres are present and the areas that are vulnerable.

The risk of exposure to asbestos fibres can be reduced by restricting access to the site, with barricades and signs that allow only authorized personnel to enter the contaminated site. Every worker on the site, undertaking the demolition or even supervising the activities need to have protective respiratory equipment that is designed to prevent them from inhaling any harmful fibres.

The deteriorated asbestos must be correctly assessed as being friable or non-friable. The places containing friable asbestos must be doubly protected with heavy plastic curtains or other barriers before any dismantling of the asbestos is commenced. Workers undertaking the dismantling and removal of asbestos must wear proper personal protective equipment like footwear, gloves, overalls, helmets and others besides the obligatory respiratory gear. Proper disposal and decontamination procedures must be followed during removal, and all the removed asbestos must be placed in bags that can be sealed after they are filled. This must be kept in a segregated area, till the bags are taken away for final disposal. It is important that the contractor identify landfills and other disposal methods before undertaking the job, and obtain all necessary permissions to do so.

Once all the identified asbestos is removed, it may be necessary to conduct air monitoring tests for a brief period of time after the removal, to ensure that the threat of fibres is no more apparent. It is best if these tests are conducted by independent and licensed assessors who are not connected with the contractor given the job of removal. These reports must be submitted directly to the owner of the property where asbestos removal has been undertaken. If some asbestos-containing materials are retained, because they are in good condition, it is important that air monitoring is undertaken at regular intervals to identify any danger that can occur.

When undertaking any asbestos removal it can help if the site containing this material is isolated and wetted down so that fibres are less likely to get airborne. This can reduce the risk to the workers and others. Removal must be carried out carefully and the removed material must be lowered carefully to the ground and care taken to see that asbestos material does not break up and cause an increase in airborne fibres. All personnel undertaking the removal must wash properly after the work is completed or suspended for the day. All tools used must also be cleaned so that they are free of fibres, and all removed material placed in airtight bags, and the entire site wetted down once again and cleaned.

In Brisbane, it is mandatory for every prospective property buyer to conduct a building inspection carried out by experienced and licensed assessors, who will also inspect a building or property for any presence of asbestos building materials. It makes sense to replace or remove all such materials so that your newly acquired property is safe and healthy to live and work in.

If you suspect of asbestos materials in your building, you shouldn’t try to demolish or dispose of it by yourself. Call Total Asbestos & Demolition now on (07) 3151 0312 for professional and safe asbestos removal in Brisbane CBD.

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