Asbestos Awareness Month: DIY Asbestos Removal
Did you know?
- An average of 4000 people die from asbestos-related diseases each year in Australia.
- Between 1930 and 1953 approximately 1.5 million tonnes of all forms of asbestos was imported into Australia.
- Approximately one third of all homes built in Australia contain asbestos products.
Source: HACA (Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities)
November is Asbestos Awareness month, so it’s a great time to check your home or business for asbestos if you are planning on renovating. Asbestos can be found behind bathroom tiles, under vinyl floor coverings and carpets, in corrugated roofing and cement sheeting of homes built before 1987.
Do you know what to do if you find asbestos during a renovation? As this month’s slogan goes, “Don’t play renovation roulette” and risk the health and safety of yourself and others! Asbestosawareness.com.au provides an excellent guide for homeowners regarding how to safely deal with asbestos in the home, as well as offering many useful fact sheets and templates for tradies and commercial and non-residential site owners.
It is always recommended that you engage licenced professionals to remove any asbestos, and we are able to organise the analysis, management and removal of any suspected asbestos in your home. However as a homeowner, you are legally allowed to remove and safely dispose up to 10 square meters of asbestos sheeting if you follow Safe Work’s safety guidelines. It is also possible to safely seal broken or damaged asbestos around the home if your plans are to keep the existing area containing asbestos undisturbed.
Here are some of the key points to remember if you are planning to remove or seal any asbestos sheeting around the home:
- Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times. This should include disposable coveralls, shoe covers, gloves, a mask and protective eyewear
- Wear old clothes underneath coveralls and dispose of them after the job
- Cover removal area in 200um plastic drop sheets to catch any fibres, dust and debris
- Wet all asbestos materials using a gentle mist spray of water. Add detergent to improve absorption or use a mix of 1 part PVA glue to 5 parts water to bond the material
- Limit the number of people in the work area
- Decontaminate yourself, the work area and equipment when completed
- Never create dust
- Never break asbestos sheeting
- Never work in windy conditions
- Never use power tools or equipment that can create dust
- Never use a household vacuum cleaner or a high pressure water hose
- Never use brooms and brushes (except for sealing if using paint or a PVA glue solution)
- Never work on dry or friable (easily crumbled) asbestos
Getex has consistently delivered trustworthy, thorough and up-to-date information regarding safe asbestos removal and management. Our highly experienced Occupational Hygienists are able to provide an extensive range of consulting and monitoring services to help you with any suspected asbestos in your home or building. Contact us today on (02) 9889 2488 or firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with one of our consultants.