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Asbestos and advice for safe removal

Asbestos - the facts

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for about 150 years on a large commercial scale. It is a versatile product and is ideal as fire proofing and insulation. Unfortunately it can also be deadly causing serious lung diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

A quarter of the people now dying from asbestos related diseases have worked in a range of building trades including carpenters, joiners, electricians, shop fitters and plumbers. It is now known that, contrary to earlier belief, exposure to small quantities of asbestos may occur during routine work such as sanding or drilling asbestos materials over a period of time, can cause these illnesses.

The removal of asbestos

Asbestos based insulation materials are still quite common in many homes and businesses. The only way to dispose of asbestos is safely and correctly and the best solutions for you depend upon the amounts of asbestos you have to dispose of. HSE assist in managing the risks associated with asbestos.

Jameson Road Household Recycling Centre will accept small amounts (maximum two sheets) of ready wrapped asbestos upon proof of private Wyre residency. The number of asbestos deliveries to the site is limited to three per user per year.

The two examples outlined below illustrate different situations for disposing of asbestos.

Example 1: I am a private business with asbestos to remove

Solution: Whatever the amount of asbestos, private businesses should normally dispose of asbestos through a licensed asbestos stripping company. The company removing the asbestos must be a HSE registered contractor and must contact the Environment Agency to register the removal of the asbestos.

Example 2: I want to get rid of our garage

Solution: In domestic situations you may dismantle asbestos yourself, however you must adhere to the following steps to protect your health and your neighbours health:

  • Before handling asbestos you should obtain and wear disposable paper overalls and an approved asbestos dust mask.
  • Asbestos structures such as garages should only be dismantled under calm weather conditions to avoid the spread of the asbestos dust.
  • The asbestos structure should be dampened with water, as this will reduce the possibility of airborne fibre release as work progresses.
  • Try to unbolt complete sheets of asbestos and try to avoid breaking the asbestos into pieces.
  • Mop up any dust with a damp rag. Do not sweep or use a vacuum cleaner, this will spread the dust further.
  • Asbestos sheets should then be double wrapped in visqueen (plastic) sheeting, securely sealed and labelled. Smaller pieces should be placed in a red sack first then into a clear sack.
  • Clothing, dustsheets, masks and any other disposable items should be wrapped in a similar manner ready for disposal. All sacks must be clearly labelled as 'Asbestos Waste'.
  • Lancashire County Council will provide a limited amount of visqueen sheets and/or bags free of charge to Wyre residents. The supply is limited to six sheets per visit and they must be used for domestic use only. These are available from Jameson Road Household Waste Recycling Centre. You may be asked for proof of residency in Wyre.

Please be aware that asbestos should never be disposed of in your general waste bin. Your rubbish is partially treated by manual handlers and any loose asbestos placed in your bin poses a threat to the health of the operatives dealing with your rubbish. Please take all asbestos from your domestic premises to the recycling centre at Jameson Road.

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