Asbestos Soil Contamination - Safely Managing Soil

The presence of asbestos in the soil can happen due to several reasons. Asbestos is a naturally occurring material that can be found in the environment and hence may be present in soil. It can also be found in soil due to the presence of an abandoned mine or due to asbestos waste that was not properly disposed of. Managing asbestos soil contamination is important in order to ensure that the health risks associated with the release of asbestos fibers into the air are reduced to the bare minimum.

About Asbestos

Products which are made from asbestos can either be in the friable or non friable form. Friable asbestos is loose and can easily crumble when dry or when light pressure is placed on it. Products made from friable asbestos contain high amounts of asbestos, even up to a hundred percent and they easily release asbestos fibers into the air.

On the other hand, products made from non-friable or bonded asbestos do not crumble into dust when light pressure is placed on them. The products are made from a mixture of a bonding material like cement and a small percentage of asbestos. This means that the asbestos fibers are bonded strongly and can therefore not easily be released into the air.

Managing Asbestos In Soil

In order to properly manage asbestos soil contamination, it is important to know how the soil got contaminated in the first place. The method used to manage the soil will depend on whether the asbestos is on the surface or buried and the amount of asbestos present in the site. The type of asbestos present, how easily it releases fibers into the air and the use of the site will also be considered.

Managing Non-Friable Asbestos

Material made from non-friable asbestos which is visible on the site can be collected by hand, by screening or by tilling while following the laid down standards for health and safety. After the exercise, there should be no visible asbestos containing material on the surface. The material should be placed in plastic sheeting and securely wrapped and taken to a landfill.

If the site is a workplace, only workers who are trained in asbestos removal should be involved in the exercise. If the site that has asbestos soil contamination is larger than ten meters squared, then you will need to call in a licensed removalist. A removalist with a class A license can remove both friable and non-friable asbestos. A removalist with a class B license can only remove non-friable asbestos.

Managing Friable Asbestos

If the soil in your site has friable asbestos soil contamination, the area should be barricaded off and warning signs put up. This will help to reduce disturbance to the asbestos containing material which can easily release fibers into the air. The soil should be kept damp to reduce the release of fibers and plastic sheeting can also be used to cover the site if this is possible. You should immediately contact a class A removalist who will visit the site and advise you on how best to handle the situation. You should note that asbestos buried half a meter below the surface does not pose a risk of releasing fibers and should therefore remain undisturbed.

Asbestos Removal Sydney offers expert service in curbing the threat of soil contamination. Our professional and efficient service will ensure that your property is free of all harmful asbestos. Your safety and the protection of your property is always a key concern during the removal process. Visit our webpage for more details.

This article was published on 16 Sep 2016 and has been viewed 441 times
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