What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant.
Today, asbestos is most commonly found in older homes, in pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials, and floor tiles.
Elevated concentrations of airborne asbestos can occur after asbestos-containing materials are disturbed by cutting, sanding or other remodeling activities. Improper attempts to remove these materials can release asbestos fibers into the air in homes, increasing asbestos levels and endangering people living in those homes.
Asbestos is defined as a group of impure magnesium silicate minerals which occur in fibrous form.
How Can Asbestos be Removed Safely?
Any person handling or removing asbestos from the interior or exterior from a building or structure must have written permission from the St. Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority.
- The area needs to be isolated
- Respiratory equipment must be worn at all times during removal
- Protective clothing and disposal overshoes must be worn
- Emergency and fire exit arrangements should be established
- Asbestos needs to be packaged properly when being transported to the disposal site
- All asbestos waste must be disposed of by burial at a specially designated site
- There should be no storage of asbestos waste except at a waste facility approved by the Authority
- Any vehicle transporting waste must be completely enclosed and driver should have a shovel, broom, personal respiratory equipment, protective equipment and a supply of water or a wetting agent in case of an emergency
In the Event of Asbestos Removal in or Near the Home
- Remain inside and keep doors and windows closed
- Cover furniture and other household items
- Relocate children and the elderly
- Place curtains over flowered blocks
- Avoid doing laudry (do not hang any clothes outside)
Please note that the use of asbestos has been banned or is extremely restricted in many countries including St. Lucia