Today, regulators understand just how dangerous asbestos can be when found in older properties around the country. It's a shame that this product was used so extensively "back then" before people really understood the implications, but as building work continues during the present day, this problem can rear its head occasionally. Sometimes, asbestos is not only found within a structure, but also within the soil beneath and this can present additional problems if your particular property is so affected. What do you need to know about asbestos contamination in soil and what can be done about it?
Essentially, there are two different categories of soil contamination here, one of which is more serious than the other, but both of which need to be handled quite carefully. Regulators determine what type of licence is required to remove evidence of asbestos, with the more restrictive 'A' type of licence being minimum in the worst-case scenario.
The Scale of the Problem
All will depend on how much asbestos is present and whether it is bonded or not within the soil. This will determine the extent of potential fibre release into the air and the risk to people, as a consequence.
If asbestos is deemed to be present within bonded materials, this is classified as 'non-friable' and is a less critical situation. Where the fibres are expected to be within the soil itself, this is known as 'friable' and requires the attention of the more experienced experts.
The entire area needs to be treated with great care and in most cases needs to be kept as wet as possible, to lessen the likelihood that fibres will get into the air. Once the area is cordoned off then experts can get to work by carefully moving through the contaminated area step-by-step and taking action.
In the case of "non-friable" asbestos, a grid needs to be set up and careful inspection made to find the bonded product. Once all visible pieces are removed and the soil has been raked to a prescribed depth, then there may be no more need for testing or air monitoring.
However, in the case of friable asbestos, the air and surrounding area will need to be monitored carefully during the removal process and for some time afterwards, before any certificate of completion may be issued.
Proceed with Caution
Call in asbestos soil removal experts to help you determine what type of asbestos is found in the soil at your property and don't disturb the area until you get their advice.