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How To Prevent Air Pollution During Asbestos Removal

How To Prevent Air Pollution During Asbestos Removal

How To Prevent Air Pollution During Asbestos Removal
By Wade Rogers

It's actually possible to stay around asbestos containing material (ACM), but still not get affected by any of its harmful effects. This is simply because asbestos only becomes harmful when its fibres are allowed to pollute the air. When you breathe in such fibres in significant amounts, and during extended periods of time, you're at risk of developing lung cancer or various other respiratory diseases.

Therefore, it's particularly critical that deliberate steps are taken to prevent air pollution during asbestos removal:

I. Prior identification of the potentially risky materials is necessary so as to avoid accidental breakage or careless contact that creates airborne fibres. Certain products within quite a number of Australian homes may have the harmful mineral. These include: steam pipes, insulations on furnace ducts, boilers, vinyl, asphalt, cement sheets, shingles, siding, gaskets, ceilings and rubber floor tiles. Identifying all the potential areas may not be possible if you're not a well-trained professional. In fact, it may be necessary to perform tests on various products in order to ascertain the presence of the harmful asbestos.

ii. Removal should also be carried out very carefully to avoid unnecessary breakage of the ACM. If there are any particularly large products that need removal, they should only be broken up if it's absolutely necessary. Even then, power tools shouldn't be used in the breakage, since the action of such tools is likely to spread asbestos fibres into the air. The risk of air dispersal means that the removal process would be a very delicate procedure that's handled only by well-trained and well-equipped professionals.

iii. The risk of contamination is also present once the removal process has been completed. There's a risk that workers involved in the operation might carry fibres on their clothes, tools, bodies or other items. This means that they might further expose their own families to the harmful mineral when they go home. Therefore, it's absolutely necessary that every person directly involved in the operation is fully equipped with personal protective equipment. Whatever type of personal protective equipment you use must be specifically suited to asbestos, which has different properties compared to other harmful substances. For instance, respiratory protection devices need to be in compliance with the Australian/New Zealand Standard 1716. There should also be a decontamination facility within the removal site, which will eliminate any residues on the tools and equipment used by workers.

iv. In case removal is yet to be carried out, the asbestos containing site should be excluded from other working or living areas. It's important that no one is allowed to access such areas within homes or in the workplace.

v. Realistically, it would be impossible to completely prevent all air pollution during the removal exercise. Hence, it's necessary that the operation is handled within a well-ventilated area. This will help reduce the concentration of fibres in the air, in case a bit of it does get airborne. Actually, an open air location would be the most ideal place, but this might not be possible in all situations. However, if you can perform removal in an open air location, don't do it during windy days.

Asbestos Removal Sydney Wide is a professional contractor specializing in asbestos removal. Whether you need to deal with roof asbestos, soil contamination or other instances of asbestos, you can depend on our expert service. Based on our long-term experience, we will deliver the most comprehensive and satisfactory service. Kindly visit Asbestos Removal Sydney Wide website for more details

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Wade_Rogers/1996637


High Risk Industries For Asbestos Exposure

High Risk Industries For Asbestos Exposure

High Risk Industries For Asbestos Exposure
By Archana Sarat

Asbestos is a wonder mineral that is fibrous by nature. It is fire resistant, chemical resistant and very strong. It can be easily woven into cloth to make fireproof clothing. Despite being such a wonderful substance, it is very hazardous to the employees and laborers, who work with it. It leads to various diseases like asbestosis, fibrosis, asbestos warts and even, cancer. Mesothelioma, a killer disease, is the most terrible of all the diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. Due to this, asbestos use, mining and manufacture were banned in many countries a few decades ago. But, there are still many countries like India and china, which have not imposed a complete ban on asbestos. Even those developed countries, which have banned asbestos, are still reaping the troubles of asbestos exposure. This is because the diseases caused due to asbestos exposure have a long latency period. For instance, mesothelioma may take even 40 years to develop after asbestos exposure.

One problem with asbestos is what when it is mined and manufactured a lot of asbestos dust and asbestos fibers are released into the atmosphere. Since these are light and invisible, the laborers easily inhale them. The trouble starts after this, as these fibers are very harmful when inhaled. For instance, when the asbestos fibers come in contact with the mesothelium lining, they react adversely with the cells leading to tumors. The tumors may appear in body parts like lungs, hearts and abdomen. This disease is called as mesothelioma. These tumors may also spread throughout the body, finally leading to dearth.

The following industries have high risk for exposure to asbestos:

Contractors or construction workers:

Since asbestos is very strong, flexible and fireproof, it is a highly preferred material in all types of construction work. In some way or in some form, asbestos is present in paints, cement, tubes, pipes, and sheets and so on. Not only the laborers but also residents, school children in schools, officers in offices and all others face a risk of asbestos exposure.


In yester years, firefighters wore clothing woven with asbestos. This fireproof clothing gave rise to various health hazards due to asbestos exposure. Even now when old buildings collapse due to fire, firefighters become exposed to asbestos.

Power plants:

The boilers and generators of power plants are mostly lined with asbestos. This is done to protect it from intense heat and sudden fires.

Automotive mechanics:

Mechanics work with brakes and clutch linings, which contain asbestos. Thus, they get exposed to asbestos. Even though asbestos is banned now, the old vehicles still contain such asbestos parts.


Minerals like vermiculite and talc contain asbestos. Thus, not only the asbestos miners but miners of these minerals too will suffer from asbestos exposure.


Most of the components in ships like hot water pipes, incinerators insulation, boilers and steam pipes contain asbestos. Since asbestos is fire proof, chemical proof, strong and flexible, it is popularly used in ship components. Therefore, shipyard workers have high risk of developing asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma. During the Second World War, there was widespread use of asbestos and in US alone, more than 4 million people worked in shipyards. Overhauling and destruction of old ships also releases a lot of asbestos dust and is thus, very hazardous.


Just like automotives and ships, railroads also made use of asbestos in steam pipes, boilers, gaskets, brakes and clutches.

Steel Mills:

Asbestos is expected to be present in the thermal Insulation Substances used in steel mills.

Oil refineries:

It is expected that many parts in the oil refineries also contain asbestos, as the rate of mesothelioma is very high among the refinery workers.

While this gives us an in-depth knowledge about how asbestos affects the various areas of workplace, this is not conclusive. It is important to take proper care and be vigilant to prevent asbestos exposure.

The writer is a freelance writer and research expert at a medical research firm. To know more about mesothelioma & asbestos, log on to http://www.rarehope.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Archana_Sarat


How Much Asbestos Can Cause Mesothelioma?

How Much Asbestos Can Cause Mesothelioma? Avoid exposure to asbestos – especially if you are a smoker. That is the central message in an article by two Dutch cancer researchers who have some good news and some bad news about the link between asbestos exposure and malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pulmonologists Dr. Paul Baas and Dr. JA Burgers of AVL/NKI Cancer Center in Amsterdam analyzed a study of 58,279 Dutch construction workers from 1986 to 2007. The study, published by Offermans et al in the January 2014 issue of the Journal of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, confirmed what past research has found – that the risk of lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, and mesothelioma increased as asbestos exposure increased. “The risk of development of lung cancer was higher for anyone with increased years of exposure to asbestos fibre combined with a smoking habit,” write Baas and Burgers in a Dutch medical journal. This is potentially bad news for the thousands of workers around the world who have worked with or around asbestos without adequate protection. The good news, say the researchers, is that the study also suggests that the risk of mesothelioma to the general public is lower – though not non-existent – from brief asbestos exposure, such as the exposure a person might encounter walking by a dusty construction site. However, the risk of developing mesothelioma from even short-term asbestos exposure is still higher among people who smoke than it is among non-smokers. But the Dutch doctors also say that laws regarding safe handling and removal of asbestos are still critical for protecting the general public and workers since even a small amount can be dangerous. In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency has established handling and disposal guidelines for workers who have to remove asbestos-containing materials from older homes and businesses. Although the same guidelines also apply to do-it-yourself homeowners, the EPA says most homeowners should not handle asbestos by themselves. Instead, they recommend that homeowners who need to remove asbestos as part of a renovation or remodeling project call a certified asbestos abatement professional in order to minimize the risk of developing mesothelioma years later. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a highly aggressive cancer with no known cure. Asbestos and a similar fibrous mineral called erionite are the primary causes of mesothelioma. Source: Baas, P and Burgers, JA, “Is one single exposure to asbestos life-threating?”, March 4, 2014, Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde