Asbestos is a hazardous substance that is caused by silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics and is used in fire-resistant and insulating materials. Though it isn't super common to have around a home, being around too much asbestos can be very dangerous. It is often recommended to contact a professional for asbestos cleaning, but some people try to attempt DIY asbestos removal.
In order for asbestos cleanup to be safe, there are certain precautions that must be taken before, during, and after a DIY asbestos removal. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, asbestos can be linked to a variety of cancers and respiratory diseases, so it is best to be super careful when accessing broken insulation that may have asbestos or cleaning it up from a home.
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Safety Rules for Asbestos Cleaning
Before attempting to access or touch anything that may have asbestos in it, take several precautions. Wear a face mask that would prevent you from inhaling any of the fibers. Another thing to consider for asbestos cleaning is to cover up any exposed skin, such as your arms. Wear disposable gloves and old clothes that can be thrown away or a disposable apron.
For extra safety during DIY asbestos removal, wear bags over your shoes or wear shoes that will be thrown away soon.
Removing Asbestos from a Home
Wet down the asbestos until it can't become airborne. Carefully sweep the asbestos into a special bag designed for its removal. Be sure to double seal the bag once all of the asbestos is scooped up into it.
Once all of the visible asbestos is gone, wet down the area again just to flush it of any remaining particles. The bags filled with asbestos must then be disposed of in a special landfill made specifically for asbestos. Be sure to call a professional when disposing of asbestos so that it does not end up with regular waste.
After Cleaning Up Asbestos
It is best to dispose of anything that had asbestos in it during the asbestos cleaning session. It can travel from object to object, making it so that anyone who touches said object can still be exposed to a significant amount of asbestos.
If any facial hair was contaminated during the asbestos cleanup, shave the hair off and wash your face repeatedly.
When to Avoid Cleaning Asbestos
When there is too much asbestos in a small area, and not enough cleanup equipment, it's just best to leave it to a professional, and local ordinances may require that. Professional cleaning services know how to deal with asbestos cleanup and also have the proper tools to stay safe. They also know the appropriate ways to dispose of anything that should be thrown away after it comes in contact with asbestos. Always check with your local building department before starting any asbestos removal project to make sure it's legal for you to do it yourself.