What is the Best Method for Asbestos Disposal?

Harriette Halepis

There are four recommended ways to dispose of asbestos. These methods include dry stripping, controlled wet stripping, high pressured water removal, and hot stripping. While all of these methods are effective, removal of asbestos is actually not necessary. In fact, removing asbestos can be more dangerous than allowing this material to remain as it currently is.

Inhaling asbestos dust can cause respiratory illness.
Inhaling asbestos dust can cause respiratory illness.

Contrary to popular belief, asbestos in its natural form is not dangerous. In fact, asbestos was once used for all kinds of commercial and industrial applications from boat construction to building construction. Asbestos can withstand high temperatures, it is not affected by abrasion, and it does not react to alkaline or acid solutions. For all of these reasons, contractors and developers used to prefer asbestos to any other material.

Wearing a respirator mask is crucial for workers involved in asbestos removal to prevent inhaling dust.
Wearing a respirator mask is crucial for workers involved in asbestos removal to prevent inhaling dust.

The problem is that asbestos can be highly toxic when it has been disturbed. When asbestos has been handled by human hands, crushed, sawed, chiseled, or moved in any other manner, it turns into a toxic powder. When inhaled, asbestos powder directly affects the lung area. This powder has been known to cause cancer, lung problems, and other illnesses. If asbestos has been damaged in any manner, then it should be removed by qualified removal professionals. It is never a good idea to remove asbestos without professional help.

Any exposure to asbestos is a health risk.
Any exposure to asbestos is a health risk.

Due to its fragile state, it is best to leave undamaged asbestos alone. If removal is necessary, a better understanding of the aforementioned stripping methods is important. Dry stripping involves simply removing asbestos without any amount of moisture. While this is the simplest method, it is not a method that is usually recommended. Since dry stripping produces a large amount of dust, the amount of toxins released during this method is very high.

Asbestos is toxic when materials are disturbed.
Asbestos is toxic when materials are disturbed.

High pressured water removal is another popular way to remove asbestos. Using a high pressure water hose, asbestos is removed by force. This is a method that is solely reserved for industrial spaces that are hard to reach. Controlled wet stripping is performed by injecting warm water into asbestos with specialized needles. This effectively weighs down the material, which helps to control the amount of dust released during removal.

Lung cancer is commonly related to asbestos exposure.
Lung cancer is commonly related to asbestos exposure.

Hot stripping techniques include the use of a ventilation system along with hot air. By blowing asbestos fibers with hot air, any residue can be directed towards a powerful ventilation system. Thus, any fibers that may be floating in the air are contained. All four methods of asbestos disposal are effective, though none of the asbestos disposal methods mentioned should be attempted on your own without professional help.

Only a professional can determine the right kind of asbestos disposal for your building or home.
Only a professional can determine the right kind of asbestos disposal for your building or home.

Only a professional can determine the right kind of asbestos disposal for your building or home. In addition, asbestos disposal should not be thought of until you are certain that any asbestos inside of your home or building is, indeed, a problem. Otherwise, asbestos disposal is simply not necessary. Keep in mind that asbestos is only dangerous if it has been disturbed.

Ceiling tiles installed before 1981 may contain asbestos.
Ceiling tiles installed before 1981 may contain asbestos.

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Discussion Comments

anon92671

can i bury asbestos in the rubble of my cemented base and cover with cement?

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