What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral of which there are 3 main types of fibres; chrysotile (white), amosite (brown), and crocidolite (blue). Asbestos material in good condition should be left alone.
Don’t panic if you think you have asbestos in your home - asbestos products are only dangerous when damaged or worn because they can release dust into the air. Asbestos dust is made up of tiny fibres which, if breathed in, are harmful and can cause eventual damage to the lungs even many years after the first exposure.
As of November 2013, Lincolnshire County Council started accepting small amounts of household waste at a number of household recycling centres. Please see the County Council link in our websites tab for more details.
If you do any DIY with asbestos materials take the following precautions:
- Keep other people away from the area of work.
- Wear protective clothing (e.g. overalls), preferably disposable, and avoid breathing in asbestos dust (a disposable dust mask ‘CE’ marked to EN 149 with FFP2 particulate filters is recommended).
- Keep asbestos materials wet to avoid producing dust.
- Work outside if possible and avoid working overhead.
- Do not drill, cut or disturb asbestos unless absolutely necessary. Do not scrape or sand asbestos materials before painting and decorating. Some types of asbestos materials are very soft and can release large numbers of fibres if rubbed or scraped.
- Use hand tools rather than power tools.
- Do not use a domestic vacuum cleaner to clear up the dust. Hire an industrial vacuum cleaner that conforms to BS 5415 (Type H).
- When you have finished work, clean up and then take off the overalls carefully to avoid raising any dust which may have collected in the fabric. In the case of disposable overalls, double-bag them, clearly mark ‘ASBESTOS’ on the bag and dispose of them as asbestos waste.
- Wash non-disposable overalls straight away, separately from other clothing, in a washing machine.
- Remember it is usually older products that contain asbestos. Loft or cavity wall insulation does not contain asbestos.
Disposing of asbestos waste
There are a number of companies within the local Yellow Pages/Telephone Directory who can be contacted to come out and assess the type of asbestos that you have, and can arrange a removal service. A google search can also be a useful way of finding local companies.
If you have asbestos in the workplace and require advice, you should either contact the Health & Safety Team in Regulatory Services or the Health & Safety Executive, whichever is the enforcing authority for your workplace. The Health & Safety Law poster displayed on the premises will give you this information.