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Asbestos Inspection for Removal in South Africa

Lurking in many buildings, the safe removal and disposal of asbestos is a must. But how do you spot it, and what do you do with it once it's found?
 
 What is asbestos?
 
Asbestos is made up of long, thin fibrous crystals. It is a naturally occurring silicate mineral that was used extensively in homes, offices, garages and other buildings during the 1950s to the mid-1980s primarily because of its resistance to heat, its sound insulation properties and its strength.
Where would you find it?
 
Asbestos was used in a great many products and materials. Don't just assume that because your house pre-dates the 1950's that it won't be in there, too. Renovations done during the 1950's onwards on older houses may well have included asbestos as a material. And some asbestos products were still on sale in South Africa up until the 1980's.
Should you go looking for it?
 
Itís not advisable to go looking for asbestos unless you believe it has been used, and may have perished or be unsafe, because undisturbed asbestos usually poses no problems. It is often difficult to tell the difference between asbestos insulating board items and non-asbestos materials, such as wall panels boards, ceiling tiles and plasterboard, which is the major reason why people often donít know they have been exposed to it.
 
How do you protect yourself?
 
Firstly, if you are suspicious that something may be asbestos, simply donít begin to work on it. Even if you are not suspicious, use protective equipment, including a suitable face mask, worn properly, when you are tackling demolition jobs. Wear a disposable overall, wash thoroughly and often, particularly your hands and face. Never sand, drill or saw asbestos materials.
 
How should you dispose of asbestos?
 
Never just chuck it in a skip. If it's small quantities, make sure you double bag debris and dispose of it properly at a municipal tip.  Be careful, if large quantities are involved the South African Department of Labour's Asbestos Regulations (No. 155 of 2002) requires that demolition or removal of asbestos and asbestos cement materials can only be carried out by an approved asbestos contractor.
 
From an article by Home-Dzine
 
I can identify areas and products in your home that may contain asbestos and report on the condition of the products and whether they might be a danger to you and your family.
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