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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    163

    Default My Experience With Asbestos

    I'm currently renovating an old 1920's home and have had an asbestos scare. I thought it would be good to share the knowledge. This is what I have learnt:

    1) Asbestos dust can lodge in your lungs and can trigger cancer. Just because you have asbestos in your lungs doesn't mean you'll develop cancer. The dust is microscopic, so not visible.

    2) I don't actually know if the stuff I'm dealing with is asbestos - to properly identify this I'd have to send a sample to a lab in Wellington(?) for a fee of close to $200. I have had rule of thumb advice that fiber cement sheeting manufactured before 1970's is highly likely to be asbestos. Chances are my stuff is asbestos.

    3) You can deal with it yourself. Buy a decent breathing apparatus - not the crappy dust particle mask, and use the paper overalls - cheap and dispose of them at the end. And control the dust by the way of water. If you get the professionals to do it then there is a notification process and other shagging around, if you DIY you don't need to do this.

    4) Get the professionals to remove the debris. You can't just dump asbestos in the rubbish bin - there's special areas and processes for asbestos dumping.

    5) The asbestos removal firms are good for advice. As is the internet.

    6) You are more likely to develop cancer from smoking.

    Well thats about it really.

    Chemill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Otago
    Posts
    18

    Default

    If you want information on asbestos and the safety reguirements go to www.OSH.govt.nz and do a search on asbestos. There are basic pamphelts avalible online right to complex manuals on the requlations avaliable.
    If you are going to sand an asbestos material make sure you have good equipment, I have seen the results of asbestosis (this is not cancer) and they are not nice. It is not worth the risk to take short cuts with asbestos. Even a little bit of abestos fibre in your lungs continues to do damage and is with you for life.
    Last edited by CRL; 16-11-2005 at 06:08 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kapiti in New Zealand
    Posts
    4,031

    Default

    Hello Chemill,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the community.

    Its scary stuff and I for one hear from my older family members of them in years past ripping up old sheets of boards not knowing if it was Asbestos.

    Cheers

    Marc
    Free business resources - www.BusinessBlogsHub.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kapiti in New Zealand
    Posts
    4,031

    Default

    P.s

    Hey Chemill I was wondering if you could keep us updated on the testing for asbestos on the property you are renovating. It will be interesting to see what the results are and the next steps you will take based on the results.

    Cheers

    Marc
    Free business resources - www.BusinessBlogsHub.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kapiti in New Zealand
    Posts
    4,031

    Default

    Hello all,

    Pat Allen of Allen Realty Ltd has sent us an article on Asbestos.

    Click Here to Read...

    Cheers

    Marc
    Free business resources - www.BusinessBlogsHub.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Warkworth
    Posts
    530

    Default

    I used to work for a company removing the stuff from ceilings, floors, pipes, rooves etc.
    I think whilst there is an inherent danger you're more likely to die of oodles of other things.
    People think of Asbestos like they think of radoactive plutonium and usually run a mile.
    Given proper care it's fantastic stuff, for one thing it doesn't rot.
    Did you know that Pink bats and the like are just as dangerous!
    Try and find that out from the manufacturers and you may find there is insuffecient evidence!!????
    Paint dust, treated timber, cement board, fibreglass are all very dangerous if you don't take care.
    Unfortunately there are often not enough records to substantuate a link until someone wants to take the time to put it together - the manufacturers won't be the ones to start the charge.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    NZ
    Posts
    976

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by toby
    Given proper care it's fantastic stuff, for one thing it doesn't rot.
    Did you know that Pink bats and the like are just as dangerous!

    I've never heard anybody call asbestos "fantastic stuff" before but I can relate to what you're saying Toby.

    It's only the dust from asbestos that's dangerous. If the stuff is just left alone, there's no danger from it. The main place that you'll find asbestos in older houses is the exterior linings and maybe the firewall between flats. I think lagging on hot water pipes used to be asbestos also(??) One of the worst uses of asbestos was in those disgusting textured ceilings, done in the 60's.

    My personal opinion is to get the professionals in if you have to do some removal work.

    I found some in the firewall between flats several years ago, I got quotes to remove it but the price was horrendous. I just papered over it and kept quiet about it. The tenants were still in the places at the time and were wondering what all the fuss was about, I was just thankful that they never twigged to what was going on.

    Aston.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    163

    Default

    Hi Marc,

    I wasn't going to send any of the material away for testing. I'm about 80% certain that it is asbestos. The house had some additions done around the 1960's which is when the cement sheeting was used - before manufacturer's stopped using asbestos.

    I was kind of forced into doing a DIY approach. I removed some sheeting from inside my house. When it was a pile of rubble a builder friend was visiting and kindly pointed out that it was probably asbestos I was playing with. Asbestos wasn't/isn't usually used as indoor wall cladding but the people who have renovated this place in the past had 'interesting' methods to say the least. The professionals were booked up and couldn't come to my rescue.

    Luckily I was living somewhere else and our stuff hadn't been shifted in just yet, so the clean up was much easier. It was also lucky that I didn't want the carpet because this would require some thorough cleaning.

    I purchased a decent breathing mask - one from 3M that's recommended for chemical sprays and such. If you read the info on the back of the packaging it mentions if the mask should or should not be used for asbestos. I also bought some paper overalls that I have disposed of after using (plus they caught on a nail and ripped! - HA).

    Before doing anything I wet everything with a sprayer to control the dust (you don't need to make a swimming pool just dampen everything).

    All the debris from the removal has been placed in plastic bags and is now ready for removal.

    regards,

    Chemill
    Last edited by Chemill; 24-11-2005 at 01:53 PM.

  9. #9

    Default

    How would I go about getting a sample taken from a testured cealing tested? I'm not planning on doing anything with it yet but will be when we redocorate and It would be usefull to know so we can plan costs etc. What would getting it tested cost?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Bay Of Plenty, NZ
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Asbestos info

    What a timely article. I have friends coming back from the UK in January and are wanting the house refreshed before they come back (ie repaint/recarpet). They've got textured ceilings - mmmmmmmmm.

    If you are in the Wellington area, there are two companies that will do removal. One is Bricon (very rude on the phone, never went to them) and Clear Air Services (Mervyn Shute - 042931631) an extremely helpful man, and would thoroughly recommend him.

    Asbestos was used in floor (especially that stuff under vinyl when it was laid) in wall products, lagging around pipes.

    The smallest amount if asbestos breathed in, can stay in your lungs for years without detrimental effects or it can cause a tumour - its really luck of the draw.

    BE VERY CAREFUL when dealing with textured ceiling. If you want to send a sample to be tested (Capital Environmental, Petone - cost $90), use full protective gear JUST IN CASE its asbestos.

    If you're lucky and its not asbestos, you've just been paranoid, if it's not you've protected your health.

    The removal companies will come in, seal the room in plastic and then remove the asbestos into bags. When the workers leave, they will change out of their clothing, have a shower in a neutral asbestos free zone and then change into their day clothes to leave.

    The air will be tested once the asbestos is removed and if clear, fine, if not then a solution of pva glue and water is sprayed in the still plastic enclosed room. This is so any airborne asbestos is caught and gets stuck to the plastic sheeting for later removal. The plastic sheeting etc, is disposed of in special areas of the rubbish tips.

    Cost for doing my friends house is around $3,000.
    Patience is a virtue.


 

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