Asbestos is a dangerous thing. The danger they present make it vital that someone removes them from the home to avoid exposure. However, the price of a professional asbestos removal might be problematic. After all, it can put a sizable dent in your wallet.
Now, the best DIY types know that there are limits. Sometimes, you just have to pull out the cash and pay a professional to get the job. Asbestos removal is firmly on that list.
Australian homeowners are legally permitted to do the job themselves. There is nothing that prevents you from doing that. However, this isn’t quite the complete picture. You can only remove non-friable asbestos less than ten square metres, provided it can be completed in a time limit.
In other words, you can’t just do it when you find the material. You are confined to small amounts that can be handled in a short period and only a specific type. According to experts, non-friable asbestos is possibly the least dangerous one if handled correctly.
The Big Risks
The main risk is that DIY asbestos removal is you risk mesothelioma. This is a type of cancer that results from asbestos fibres lining the lungs and causing damage.
Now, you can get mesothelioma without exposure to asbestos. The catch is that it’s not a common thing.
Exposure to asbestos fibres can also lead to other forms of lung cancer. Medical experts have found data showing that inhaled fibres can linger in the lungs and alter cellular multiplication and division processes. There might be evidence suggesting it can also damage the DNA.
Asbestos also tends to be an inconvenient thing because of the myriad precautions to be taken.
The sheets tend to fray when damaged, contaminating the area. In other words, you need to avoid the use of power tools or sanding discs. Compressed air and anything high pressure is also a no-go. This limits your options and you’re stuck mostly using manual labour.
The room should also be contained, to prevent spreading contamination. It should also be well-ventilated, but without any exits, so any loose fibres don’t get out into the environment.
Containment is a challenge. You’ll need to seal off the work area. You’ll want to clear it out beforehand, removing anything that the fibres might cling to as you work. Depending on the amount of asbestos present, you could be working for days.
You can’t wear your usual clothes, either. You might, but you had better be prepared to lose all of it because the fibres might cling on them too.