Soil contamination with asbestos and its removal


asbestosremovalnowSoil remediation is a process of removal of pollutants that are caused due to man made chemical alterations in naked ground. The contamination of soil could result from excessive usage of pesticides, direct discharge of industrial wastes into the soil, oil and fuel dumping. Asbestos contamination of soil results due to dumping of waste materials from asbestos during mining or its removal, historic practices of poor waste management and residential properties constructed in the days before it became known that asbestos was a dangerous substance. Asbestos removal is usually undertaken when a building is renovated or demolished. It is always safe to hire professionals for soil remediation especially for asbestos treatment to minimize the health risks involved.

The basic technique of remediation of soil contaminated with asbestos involves disposal to landfill or capping. The removal method also depends on the form of asbestos (sheet, paper, spray etc.). When removing asbestos from products or disturbing such products one needs to be very careful as this leads to release of asbestos fibres in the air which may be inhaled by the residents of that area. These fibres, which are quite small to be seen, can cause respiratory diseases, lung cancer, mesothelioma cancer etc., when inhaled. The professional asbestos removal employers use vacuum ventilation system, special tools and wetting agents to limit the release of asbestos fibres into the environment. Some professionals get fences and barriers installed around the contaminated area to ensure that no individuals can access the work site. In order to prevent the escape of airborne asbestos, a negative air pressure unit is installed which creates negative air pressure within the enclosed area. Every possible effort is made to get rid of all the asbestos.

It is advisable to first get the soil site inspected by a professional expert so as to determine the existence of asbestos and asbestos containing materials. The sample inspection and collection should be carried out with utmost care so that the soil is not agitated which could in turn release asbestos fibres in the air. Even when the soil is being transported to the laboratory, it should be ensured that the soil is moist to reduce the probability of fibres floating in the air and dirt.

The asbestos could be classified as friable if it crumbles easily and is readily beaten or it could be bonded. Bonded asbestos is comparatively less dangerous than the fibrous ones. Bonded asbestos are in the form of sheets which may be flat, corrugated, or tubular. The removal of these bonded sheets also requires professional and experienced workers since there is always a risk that if the sheets get broken then it could result in release of asbestos fibres in the air exposing the individuals to risks. Therefore, it is better to stay safe and get it removed by professionals.

In short, whether the asbestos is bonded or friable, it is always advisable to engage experienced and professional help in asbestos removal and treatment so as to restrict and avoid the health hazards associated with asbestos. A professional employer always abides by high standards of waste disposal thereby reducing the risks.

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