The Asbestos Decontamination & Recycling Process, Why It’s Important
Asbestos decontamination is important, and it’s important to handle and dispose of asbestos as safely as possible. Improperly handling asbestos can put everyone at risk for developing health conditions related to asbestos like mesothelioma, lung cancer and more. There are strict regulations on handling and disposing of asbestos-containing materials that can help everyone stay safe and prevent exposure.
Asbestos is a deadly carcinogen that should only be handled by licensed and insured asbestos abatement professionals. We don’t recommend removing or even touching the asbestos fibers yourself because if you disturb them they can become even more dangerous.
Asbestos removal professionals are highly trained and certified to follow all federal and state laws to keep everyone safe and remove the asbestos properly. Some of the federal and state laws to decontamination are below:
- Planning & Preparing the Project Appropriately – Before the project is started, licensed and insured professionals will need to assess the size and severity of the abatement project. They’ll have to acquire the proper government permits in order to move forward with the project. Once all of the logistics are secured, the work area will need to be sealed off with plastic sheeting and negative air pressure units. Warning signs will also be posted to alert others that abatement is underway.
- Safety Protocols in the Work Area – HVAC systems will be disabled to prevent the asbestos fibers from circulating through the air. Works will use wet wipes or a HEPA vacuum to clean the asbestos off immovable objects to control dust. The HEPA vacuum will be used to clean up the area too when the abatement process is finished.
- Creating Decontamination Units – Enclosed units must be installed in and around the work area for workers to remove any contaminated clothing, shoes and tools that were used during the abatement process.
Asbestos Recycling & The Benefits
Once the asbestos abatement procedure is completed, the professionals will recycle the dangerous fibers in one of three safe ways. The US Department of Energy makes it possible to transform asbestos products into non-toxic materials. It’s commonly called asbestos recycling, and it can be complex and expensive. The three methods for recycling asbestos are:
- Heating asbestos containing materials in a sodium hydroxide solution above 1,250 degrees Celsius to break down asbestos. The process results in thermal decomposition for asbestos fibers and produces a type of non hazardous glass.
- Using microwave thermal treatment to turn asbestos into ceramic bricks or porcelain tiles.
- The last method is using a high-speed milling process to break asbestos fibers down into nonhazardous inert minerals.
Asbestos recycling is an ethical way to deal with how many products with asbestos are still around. Recycling the dangerous fibers will help in the long run. Some of the benefits are below:
- Permanent Solution – Destroying the asbestos fibers and converting them into a nonhazardous substance.
- Reducing Waste – Reducing the volume of asbestos containing materials significantly, saving space in landfills.
- Creating Reusable Products – The end products that are still safe to use can be reused in a variety of applications.
- Offsetting Costs of Abatement – Recycling asbestos can offset the cost of abatement by producing material for safe use rather than dumping hazardous waste.
How Asbestos Project Management Can Help
Asbestos Project Management has been inspecting, testing and removing asbestos in the Chicagoland area for over 30 years, and we’ve perfected our abatement and decontamination processes. If you believe you have asbestos in your home, it’s important to schedule your inspection as soon as possible.Back To Blog