When it comes to demolition in Melbourne, we all like to undertake several minor tasks on our own. While with some basic knowledge, you can undertake some tasks independently; one demolition task should be kept far from DIY – asbestos removal. Why? There are not one but several reasons. Let’s go through them individually and figure out why you should always entrust asbestos removal contractors with the removal of asbestos-containing materials.
DIY asbestos removal can pose significant health risks to you and your family, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. When asbestos-containing materials or ACMs are disturbed during removal, the fibres can become airborne, increasing the risk of inhalation and exposure. Professional asbestos removal contractors use specialised equipment and techniques to minimise exposure and ensure that the asbestos is safely contained.
Some common health risks associated with asbestos exposure include:
- Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by the scarring of lung tissue as a result of asbestos exposure. DIY asbestos removal can increase the risk of inhaling asbestos and, therefore, developing asbestosis.
- Lung Cancer: DIY asbestos removal can release asbestos fibres into the air, inhaling which in excessive amounts can cause lung cancer.
- Mesothelioma: DIY asbestos removal can also increase the risk of developing mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos.
- Other Respiratory Problems: Inhaling asbestos fibres can also cause other respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.
Rely on asbestos removal contractors for safe removal practices and secure yourself and your loved ones against all the risks associated with DIY.
There are specific legal requirements associated with removing asbestos-containing materials, and DIY asbestos removal can put you at risk of breaking these laws. The legal requirements for asbestos removal vary depending on the location, type, and quantity of asbestos-containing materials being removed.
- Licences and Permits: You need a licence to legally undertake asbestos removal work. The government or a regulatory agency issues it, requiring specific training and expertise in asbestos removal. All asbestos removal contractors have it.
- Notification Requirements: In some jurisdictions, homeowners and building owners must notify the appropriate authorities before removing asbestos-containing materials.
- Work Practices and Procedures: Specific work practices and procedures must be followed during asbestos removal to ensure the safety of the workers and the public. These practices include using personal protective equipment, isolating the work area, and using specialised equipment to minimise the release of asbestos fibres.
- Disposal Requirements: Asbestos-containing materials must be disposed of in a specific way to ensure that they do not pose a risk to public health or the environment. Improper disposal can result in fines and legal repercussions.
If you don’t abide by all these requirements, you will be subject to certain penalties or other legal repercussions.
Lack of Training
Identifying ACMs can be challenging for untrained individuals as many building materials look similar to asbestos-containing materials. For instance, insulation materials and popcorn ceiling textures used in homes before the 1990s may contain asbestos. Identifying the presence of ACMs requires specialised training and expertise, which professional asbestos removal contractors possess.
Professional asbestos removal contractors have undergone extensive training and are certified to safely identify and remove asbestos-containing materials. They have access to specialised equipment, including protective gear, respirators, and negative air pressure systems, which are necessary to remove asbestos fibres from the air during removal. They also follow strict safety protocols to ensure that the asbestos fibres do not escape into the air during removal.
DIY asbestos removal may seem like a cost-effective solution for removing asbestos-containing materials from a home or building. However, attempting to remove asbestos without the proper training and equipment can lead to increased risks of exposure, improper removal techniques, and legal repercussions. This can ultimately lead to higher costs in the long run.
- One of the main reasons DIY asbestos removal can become more expensive is the potential for mistakes during the removal process. DIY asbestos removal can result in mistakes that may require professional correction, leading to additional costs.
- Attempting to remove asbestos-containing materials without the proper licences and permits can result in legal repercussions. Failing to follow asbestos removal-related regulations can result in legal liabilities, fines, and penalties, ultimately increasing the overall costs of asbestos removal.
As we mentioned, asbestos is a hazardous material that can cause serious health issues. As a result, proper removal and disposal of asbestos is crucial to protecting human health and the environment. DIY asbestos removal can pose several environmental concerns, including:
- Airborne Asbestos Fibres: During the removal process, asbestos fibres can become airborne and spread to surrounding areas, which can cause long-term health effects for people who inhale them. This can also contaminate nearby soil, water sources, and vegetation.
- Improper Disposal: Improper disposal of asbestos-containing materials can lead to environmental contamination. If these materials are not disposed of properly, they can end up in landfills, water sources, or even recycled into new products, leading to further exposure to asbestos.
Overall, DIY asbestos removal poses significant environmental risks and health hazards, leading to several legal consequences and is therefore not recommended. So, it is crucial to hire a professional asbestos removal or demolition company in Melbourne with the necessary training, equipment, and expertise to safely and properly handle and dispose of asbestos-containing materials. If you are looking for such a team, connect with us at Merhi Group.