New asbestos removal method ‘reduces risks and costs’

An alternative asbestos removal technique that also cuts costs has been shown to reduce asbestos exposure risks for demolition workers, a US agency has said following the first demonstration project.


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Asbestos, a potent carcinogen widely used in construction until the 1980s, is usually removed before demolition. The alternative method tested by the US Environmental Protection Agency leaves more asbestos in the structure during demolition and uses water to keep the contaminant from becoming airborne.

Demolition waste from the traditional as from the alternative method is disposed of in licensed hazardous landfill sites.

The main advantages of the new “Alternative Asbestos Control Method” are greatly reduced costs and also, it now appears, less asbestos getting into the air, which can potentially cause harm to workers.

The EPA demonstration project looked at two buildings in Arkansas containing similar amounts of asbestos and monitored emissions to the environment. The alternative method showed lower levels of asbestos and reduced exposure combined with significant time and cost savings.

A full report on the demonstration project and tests can be found here.

For general information about asbestos see <a href="http://www.epa.gov/asbestos.

Goska Romanowicz

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