The word ‘asbestos’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘inextinguishable’. Asbestos was discovered in 1808, and it was soon found to be resistant to fire and heat. This led to its widespread use in buildings, insulation, and clothing.
The use of asbestos in building and construction materials has now been banned in many countries, but it is still used in some developing nations. The use of asbestos continues to pose a risk to human health, as it can cause life-threatening diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals that have been mined for use in construction and manufacturing since the late 1800s. Asbestos is a common ingredient in building materials, such as insulation and cement.
The three types of asbestos that are most commonly used are chrysotile, crocidolite, and amosite.
Crocidolite: Crocidolite is the second most common type of asbestos, and it has been banned in many countries due to its health risks.
Chrysotile: Chrysotile is the most common type of asbestos found in homes today, and it poses less risk to humans than some other types of asbestos. It can still cause lung cancer if inhaled over a long period of time.
Amosite: Amosite is characterized by sharp, brittle, needle-like fibres that can be easily inhaled.
Asbestos falls into two categories – friable and non-friable.
Friable asbestos is a material that contains asbestos and is in powder form or can be crumbled, pulverised, or reduced to powder simply through hand pressure.
Non-friable asbestos is found in products such as cement sheeting (or fibro) and used for cladding, roofs, fences, and backing boards in wet areas.
How is Asbestos Removed?
Asbestos removal is the process of removing asbestos-containing materials from buildings or other structures. Asbestos can be removed by breaking up or cutting into the material and then disposing of the pieces. The most common methods for removing asbestos are wetting the material with water, using a high-pressure water jet, using an electric knife (which is heated), and applying chemicals such as sodium hydroxide (caustic soda).
There is a range of precautions that need to be taken when removing asbestos from your home or business, and this is why it is important to use a licensed asbestos removalist to do the work.
Asbestos Licenses and Classes Brisbane
When considering asbestos removal services in Brisbane, it is important to have an understanding of the licenses that are held by asbestos removal specialists, and what they mean.
In Queensland there are two types of asbestos removal licenses:
- Friable asbestos – class A
- Non-friable (bonded) asbestos – class B
A ‘class A’ license allows for the removal of any amount of friable asbestos. These license holders can also carry out ‘class B’ asbestos removal work.
A ‘class B’ license allows for the removal of:
More than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos
Any asbestos-contaminated dust or debris associated with the removal of the asbestos product.
A license isn’t required to remove less than ten square metres of non-friable asbestos, however, all work must be carried out using the safe work procedures.
How is Asbestos Waste Handled?
Asbestos waste is a major concern for governments and public health agencies with the most common type of waste being construction debris that contains asbestos, such as broken floor tiles, ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, and roofing materials. Other types include contaminated soil or rubble from demolished buildings containing asbestos; waste from asbestos removal projects; and products that contain asbestos.
There are two ways to dispose of asbestos waste in Brisbane:
1) Landfill: Asbestos waste can be disposed of by burying it in a landfill. This is the cheapest and easiest way to get rid of the material, but it can also cause environmental problems if not done correctly. Asbestos fibres can be released into the air and groundwater when buried. Asbestos waste is double-wrapped in 0.2 mm thick plastic bags or sheeting, sealed with tape and labelled double-wrapped, and transported to a landfill site that accepts asbestos.
2) Industrial Waste: Asbestos waste is placed into a plastic-lined industrial skip that may have been provided by a waste contractor with an environmental authority to transport regulated waste.
All bags must be labelled with the appropriate warnings, including:
- Caution – Asbestos
- Do Not Damage or Open Bag
- Do Not Inhale Dust
Are you looking for asbestos removal services in Brisbane? Talk to our friendly team today.