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View Full Version : Removal of asbestos in leaky ceiling- needs specialist?



Digby Saunders
02-11-2008, 07:19 AM
Hi, We are a Charity Shop with asbestos identified in a ceiling that is in poor condition due to a water leak. It will take more than an hour to remove; can we seal it in? Does this need a specialist to do it? Thanks

mind the gap
02-11-2008, 09:14 AM
Hi, We are a Charity Shop with asbestos identified in a ceiling that is in poor condition due to a water leak. It will take more than an hour to remove; can we seal it in? Does this need a specialist to do it? Thanks

If it's got asbestos in it, then yes, it will definitely need specialist removal. If it's anything like the scenario at my workplace when they discovered asbestos in (I believe)some pipe lagging, this will involve closing your shop (obviously), workers with special boilersuits and masks, a mess, prolonged vacuum cleaning and huge disruption. It may resemble a set from one of those post-nuclear sci-fi films.

However, it is absolutely not OK to tackle it yourselves, partly because by law you are not allowed to, but more importantly, because although asbestos fibres can be safe for years if undisturbed, they can be carcinogenic if inhaled.

Good luck.

mind the gap
02-11-2008, 10:37 AM
Sorry, just re-read your original post and realised you don't necessarily want to remove it (although that might be best)...however, even to seal it, I think you need specialist advice. If you did it yourself, your 3rd person liability insurance may not cover you if the asbestos fibres were disturbed and posed a health risk.

Your local council (EHO) will advise.

MrJohnnyB
26-11-2008, 09:32 AM
I would echo the above, you want to get some professional advice on the matter. However, I have dealt with several similar incidents and the cost of the removal of asbestos has been negligible. If I were advising you on this matter I would almost certainly advise the removal rather than the encapsulation of it because it just removes any potential future hassle and or closure.

SteveP
26-11-2008, 10:23 AM
you want to get some professional advice on the matter. However, I have dealt with several similar incidents and the cost of the removal of asbestos has been negligible. If I were advising you on this matter I would almost certainly advise the removal rather than the encapsulation of it because it just removes any potential future hassle and or closure.

In a nutshell the law requires a risk assessment to be undertaken. Mesothelioma is the No1 killer of men in this country and it is only caused by exposure to airborne asbestos firbres. There is no known safe limit of exposure and even people wearing full protection can be exposed. Moreover, studies have shown that airborne fibre levels in properties increase and remain heightened for many months after removal even if full precautions are taken.

Consequently removal should be the last resort.

As this is a shop you, or possibly your landlord, have a duty to manage the asbestos. You'll find all of the answers you need on the HSE website here

http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/

On the duty to manage here

http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/campaign/duty.htm

There is a short free guide to managing asbestos here

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg223.pdf

but the HSE sell a more comprehensive guide which is well worth buying.