History of Asbestos Use:
Asbestos is a general term used to describe a naturally occurring mineral of silicate. It is known to be a carcinogen, which is a substance that might cause cancer. Asbestos was popularly used due to its heat resistant and insulation properties in many products, mostly in buildings, vehicles, and ships. Asbestos is also sprayed in buildings for acoustic or noise proofing and many other decorative purposes. Soon it became a typical practice for all large multi-storied buildings and even many schools and hospitals to spray asbestos on their steel girders to ensure fireproofing. As a result of this many workers and other people, especially children in schools are at risk due to exposure to the insulation of asbestos in buildings.
Why Asbestos removal?
With an increase in awareness about the grave health hazards of asbestos, it has become quite evident that the use of asbestos in construction is a huge problem. Sprayed asbestos tends to deteriorate with time, and if it is left uncontrolled, the fibers will merge into the air and could be breathed in by people. Asbestos removal equipment is a necessity in such cases while demolition of buildings having asbestos insulation takes place.
- Before using any asbestos removal equipment, it is important to carry out a risk measurement. The asbestos removal equipment should be used in a way that minimizes the release of fibers and dust and avoids exposure to the risk of asbestos dust and fibers.
- Asbestos removal equipment includes a set of protective clothing. Personal protective clothing should contain coveralls, over boots, head coverings, and gloves. Disposable coveralls are recommended.
- Another precaution that the workers should take is not to have food in the vicinity of their asbestos removal equipment to avoid contamination. Workers should not eat or drink in an area that may be contaminated with asbestos dust.
- Other asbestos removal equipment includes an approved respirator. You should use non-powered hand tools and asbestos removal respirators as these generate less dust. All asbestos removal equipment must be approved by relevant State or Territory legislation. The respirator used can be positive pressure full airline respirator or a continuous flow airline with a hood. You also should have disposable cans to store waste materials.
- The asbestos sheets should be removed ensuring minimal breakage and should be lowered instead of dropping them over the ground. The removed sheets should be stacked upon polythene sheets.
It is essential to know how you should use the asbestos removal equipment properly and effectively. High importance should be given to safety factors. The users should be well equipped with knowledge about how to check that the equipment fits, when and how to wear protective clothing, and also how to keep the asbestos removal equipment clean and free from dust or asbestos.
Apart from this workers should know who is responsible for the maintenance of removal equipment, changing the pump and filter, and storing it to keep it clean when not in use.