Managing Asbestos in demolition

Dealing with asbestos requires caution and adherence to proper safety procedures. Identifying asbestos and taking appropriate action is crucial to protect the health and well-being of individuals. If you suspect the presence of asbestos, it is essential to consult with a licensed asbestos professional and follow their guidance to ensure a safe and effective resolution.

Managing Asbestos in the home & demolition overview

Learn about the essential steps to ensure the proper management of asbestos during demolition projects. Conduct a thorough survey, develop an asbestos management plan, engage a licensed asbestos removal contractor, properly dispose of asbestos waste, and conduct post-demolition clearance inspections.

Consult with asbestos professionals and follow established guidelines to protect the health and safety of workers and the general public.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in construction materials for its heat resistance and durability. However, it is now known to be highly hazardous to human health, causing serious respiratory diseases including lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Due to its widespread use in the past, it is important for property owners and managers to be aware of how to properly manage asbestos to protect the health and safety of occupants and workers.

How to manage asbestos - Total Asbestos

Identifying Asbestos

Identifying asbestos can be challenging, as it is often mixed with other materials. However, there are some common areas where asbestos is commonly found:

  • Insulation materials, such as pipe insulation and boiler insulation.
  • Roofing materials, including shingles and cement sheets.
  • Textured coatings, such as popcorn ceilings and textured paint.
  • Vinyl floor tiles and adhesives.
  • Asbestos cement products, such as pipes and corrugated sheets.

If you suspect that a material contains asbestos, it is essential to have it tested by a licensed asbestos professional. They will take a sample and send it to a laboratory for analysis. It is crucial not to disturb the material until you have confirmation of its asbestos content.

Dealing with Asbestos

When dealing with asbestos, it is important to follow proper safety precautions to minimize the risk of exposure. Here are some key steps to take:

1. Assess the situation

Determine the extent of asbestos presence and the condition of the material. If the material is in good condition and undisturbed, it may be safer to leave it in place and monitor it regularly.

2. Hiring a licensed professional

For any asbestos removal or repair work, it is crucial to hire a licensed asbestos professional. They have the necessary training and equipment to handle asbestos safely. Attempting to remove asbestos yourself can release dangerous fibers into the air and put you at risk.

3. Creating a containment area

If asbestos needs to be removed, a containment area should be established to prevent the spread of fibers to other areas. This may involve sealing off the work area with plastic sheeting and using negative air pressure machines to ensure that any released fibers are captured and filtered.

4. Wearing protective gear

When working with asbestos, it is crucial to wear appropriate protective gear, including disposable coveralls, gloves, goggles, and a respirator equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. This helps to prevent the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers.

5. Proper disposal

Asbestos waste must be disposed of in accordance with local regulations. It should be double-bagged in heavy-duty plastic bags labeled as asbestos waste and taken to an approved disposal facility.

Step 1: Conduct a thorough survey

Prior to commencing any demolition work, it is essential to conduct a thorough survey of the building to identify any potential ACMs. This survey should be carried out by a qualified asbestos professional who will inspect all areas of the building, including hidden spaces such as wall cavities and ceiling voids.

The survey will involve taking samples of suspected materials and sending them to a certified laboratory for analysis. Once the presence of asbestos is confirmed, a detailed report should be prepared, outlining the location, condition, and type of ACMs present in the building.

Step 2: Develop an asbestos management plan

Based on the findings of the survey, an asbestos management plan should be developed. This plan will outline the procedures and precautions to be followed during the demolition process to ensure the safe handling and removal of ACMs.

The plan should include details such as the sequence of demolition, the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and the methods for handling and disposing of asbestos waste. It is crucial to comply with all relevant local, state, and federal regulations regarding asbestos management.

Step 3: Engage a licensed asbestos removal contractor

When it comes to the actual removal of ACMs, it is essential to engage a licensed asbestos removal contractor. These professionals have the necessary training and expertise to handle asbestos safely and are equipped with specialized tools and equipment.

The removal contractor will follow the asbestos management plan and employ appropriate containment measures to prevent the release of asbestos fibers into the air. They will use techniques such as wetting down the materials and using negative air pressure units to ensure the safe removal of ACMs.

Step 4: Proper disposal of asbestos waste

Once the ACMs have been removed, it is crucial to dispose of them properly. Asbestos waste should never be disposed of in regular trash bins or landfills, as this can pose a significant health risk to the public and the environment.

Instead, the asbestos waste should be double-bagged in heavy-duty plastic bags labeled with appropriate warning signs. It should then be transported to a licensed asbestos disposal facility, where it will be safely disposed of in accordance with regulations and guidelines.

Step 5: Post-demolition clearance inspection

After the demolition work is complete, a post-demolition clearance inspection should be conducted. This inspection involves a thorough visual examination and air monitoring to ensure that all asbestos-containing materials have been effectively removed.

If any traces of asbestos are found during the inspection, additional remediation work may be required. It is essential to address any remaining ACMs before the site can be deemed safe for future use or redevelopment.


Managing asbestos in demolition projects requires careful planning, adherence to regulations, and the involvement of qualified professionals. By conducting a thorough survey, developing an asbestos management plan, engaging licensed removal contractors, properly disposing of asbestos waste, and conducting post-demolition clearance inspections, you can ensure the safe and effective management of asbestos during demolition.

Remember, asbestos is a hazardous material, and its mishandling can have severe consequences. It is always best to consult with asbestos professionals and follow established guidelines to protect the health and safety of workers and the general public.

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Asbestos Management Plan

An asbestos management plan is essential for managing asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in buildings. It aims to protect occupants and workers from asbestos exposure through identification, assessment, and control of ACMs.

Asbestos Dangers

Learn about the dangers of asbestos, its health risks including mesothelioma and lung cancer, and how to protect yourself from exposure. Understand the regulations and laws regarding asbestos, and find resources and support for asbestos-related issues. 

Types Of Asbestos

Learn about the different types of asbestos, including chrysotile asbestos, amphibole asbestos, tremolite asbestos, and anthophyllite asbestos. Understand the characteristics and health risks associated with each type of asbestos.

How To Manage Asbestos

Dealing with asbestos requires caution and adherence to proper safety procedures. Identifying asbestos and taking appropriate action is crucial to protect the health and well-being of individuals. If you suspect the presence of asbestos.

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