Dispose of asbestos safely
If you demolish your roof or dispose of your night storage heater, put yourself at risk, which is often not considered.
Everything you should know about asbestos
The carcinogen asbestos is increasingly forgotten, even though it claims more than 1,000 victims each year. In our guide we have compiled the most important information on health protection and professional and proper disposal.
What is asbestos?
The collective term "asbestos" covers silicate fibers that also occur in nature. They were already known in the third century BC. Even the ancient Greeks knew that asbestos fibers were fireproof. Since natural resources exist in many countries, the silicates can be mined underground or above ground. The actual extraction of asbestos occurs only in the asbestos plant, where one splits off the unusable secondary materials to isolate the fibers.
Why is asbestos harmful?
The big disadvantage of the former miracle fiber is that during mining and processing tiny tiny fibers are released. These tiny particles reach the lungs via the air they breathe and, over the years, develop their cell-damaging effect and can cause the disease asbestosis.
Asbestos fibers that enter the body can not be removed again. Worse, they break up into many thin fibers. The phagocytes, which are responsible for the removal of pollutants, can not eliminate the particles. Instead, they are slashed and instead protein substances that cause scar tissue of the lung tissue. The amount of asbestos fibers present in the lungs determines how badly the health of the person affected is damaged. The result of asbestosis can be lung cancer or a pelvic tumor.
This manifests itself only 20-40 years after the inhalation of the fibers. At risk are people who have contact with asbestos fibers for professional reasons. Dismantling, processing, production or use of products containing asbestos, but also remediation or demolition work constitute a particularly high risk of disease.
Where does asbestos occur?
Asbestos fibers were used uncritically until the nineties and are therefore used today in demolition and renovation work. Since 1993, the use of asbestos in Germany is prohibited. Throughout the EU, the ban has been in force since 2005. Asbestos was used in night storage heaters, car tires, toasters, brake pads, plastic floor coverings, wall coverings, insulation materials, under roofs, in electrical appliances and in so-called Eternit panels.
Asbestos fibers continue to be used abroad and partly imported into the EU. Here you will find uses in sealing rings or in the spacers of Chinese thermoses. The reason for the varied use is the strength of the fiber. It is heat and acid resistant, has excellent insulation properties and can also be interwoven with other fibers. Asbestos is a durable and relatively rot-proof material that has been widely used.
Why may not asbestos be disposed of in your home?
For demolition, refurbishment or service work, it is particularly applicable to: Asbestos cement products special rules and regulations. The Technical Rule for Hazardous Substances TRGS 519 states that the proper and harmless disposal of asbestos-contaminated materials must be ensured by a specialist company with certificate of competence. The remediation process is very complex and subject to certain safety and health regulations.
The following basic rules must be observed when working with asbestos:
- Never break or otherwise damage asbestos cement boards
- Under no circumstances dust-forming treatment such as sanding or the use of steel brushes
- No use of high-pressure cleaners or other material-removing cleaning options
The undertaking carrying out the asbestos removal must notify the activities in advance to the competent industrial property office.
Anyone who removes and disposes of asbestos-contaminated materials on his own initiative and without knowledge of the safety regulations endangers his health.
A dust-free cover is required Suction devices and prescribed disposal packages to remove the asbestos-containing materials from the living or working area. The interior area in need of renovation must be kept under negative pressure. Zones in which free asbestos fibers may occur may only be entered via a lock system. Asbestos is released explosively, e.g. by force such as the smashing of a night storage furnace, all people who are unprotected in the dust cloud can fall ill.
Materials containing asbestos are classified as hazardous waste. They are disposed of in landfill sites (DK-I and DK-II). There, the asbestos waste packaged in BigBags is covered by other mineral material to prevent further leakage of fibers. If BigBags are not available for the transport of asbestos waste for asbestos disposal, closed waste containers may also be used in exceptional cases.
Why you should obtain a disposal certificate
Before and during the disposal of asbestos-containing waste, please note that certain Procedures and labeling requirements apply. As contracting authority, it is responsible to entrust a company with the refurbishment who knows and adheres to these rules (TRGS 519). The disposal certificate ensures that this requirement is met in a comprehensible manner and that the disposal of asbestos-containing materials has been carried out according to the procedure prescribed by law.
Who can dispose of?
Nowadays, the craft chambers offer expert training courses on asbestos. Without proof of competence no-one may dispose of asbestos. Since various disposal methods have proven to be impracticable, waste recycling is regulated by the Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act. Only landfills marked with DK I or DK II may dispose of asbestos-containing materials.
The guideline "Safe Disposal of Asbestos Hazardous Material" was developed in friendly cooperation with the "Association of German Waste Management -,
Water and Raw Materials Management" (BDE).
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