The health risks associated with asbestos include cancers such as mesothelioma and lung. Asbestos releases tiny fibres that, once inhaled, become tiny spears that harm lung tissue. Homes built prior to 1980 will have some sort of asbestos. Wiring that has asbestos insulation was used in industrial businesses, theatres and household appliances such as ovens. Builders used asbestos wiring in areas with a high fire risk. Removing asbestos on your own is a dangerous undertaking and should not be the first choice for any homeowner. Contacting an approved asbestos removal contractor is the best option for asbestos removal.
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Things you need
- Disposable clothes
- Plastic sheeting
- HEPA filters
- Garbage bags
Contact your local government health or building department to find out what legal issues may be involved with removing the asbestos yourself. In most areas, a homeowner may remove asbestos but has to hire out for asbestos disposal. The local or state government may also require that you fill out an application for a permit to remove asbestos. You also may need to test to verify that the wiring does have asbestos insulation and constitutes a health risk prior to removal.
Prepare all safety materials for anyone working with the asbestos. This will include respirators, coverall clothing that you can disposed of, boots and gloves.
Lay plastic sheeting around the room where you are going to remove the wiring. Enclose doorways in plastic. The plastic on the floor should extend up the wall at least 12 inches.
Remove wiring that has failed or is on the verge of failing. Asbestos is not a hazard when the wiring is intact. Only remove damaged wiring that may release asbestos particles into the air.
Run a HEPA filter at all times during the removal of the electrical wiring. Place wiring in bags and wet it down to so that the small particles do not become airborne. Place the bags in containers that provide an airtight seal.
Discard all plastic sheeting, clothing, respirators and removed wiring. You cannot throw these items in the trash. Follow the directions issued with the permit for disposal by your state or local government. If permits are not required, contact an approved asbestos removal company in your local area to dispose of all materials.
Tips and warnings
- It is best to have licensed professionals complete the removal of asbestos for your safety.
- Follow all local and state laws and regulations regarding the removal of asbestos.
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