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A Complete Guide to Asbestos Encapsulation and Its Management
Asbestos is a hazardous material that needs to be properly managed because of the health risks associated with it. According to the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 2016, workplaces and other businesses must adopt asbestos management to protect the health of employees.
Factories and industries where asbestos is likely to be detected are implementing various methods such as Asbestos encapsulation and removal. Nowadays, encapsulation has become the most popular and viable option as it is cheaper compared to removal.
Now, when someone finds asbestos in his home or workplace, he usually chooses to have it removed. Many times, contractors ask to remove it completely, which is usually expensive. But, encapsulation is a cheaper and more reasonable option that has a lot of advantages.
Here are the benefits of encapsulating asbestos:
Hazards associated with asbestos are generally avoided by encapsulation.
It is accompanied by low cost.
Repair and cover exposed area of material.
The material helps to last for a long time.
Enhances the overall appearance of the content.
Hassle-free compared to full removal.
Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, Lung Cancer etc. Asbestos is a hazardous material that can cause health ailments such as these, so it needs to be properly maintained to minimize the risk. Thousands of industries are exposed to these hazardous materials, from shipbuilding to manufacturing and power plants.
Now, to come up with a proper plan for asbestos management, you need to keep the following in mind:
Locate the potential site of asbestos.
Consult the contractor and make sure he follows proper procedures when encapsulating, as tampering with the material may make it unsafe.
Note when you’re encapsulating it so you can better maintain it in the future.
Maintain documentation related to encapsulation and revise it at least every 5 years.
Before encapsulating, keep the following in mind to ensure trouble-free service.
You can only encapsulate asbestos containing material if it is firmly attached to the material.
Ensure that encapsulation is technically possible. For example, if the material is in a condition where encapsulation is not conceivable, it is better to remove it.
The encapsulation should have the characteristics of the original asbestos application so that you do not need to apply any other material. Common features include thermal or acoustic insulation and fire resistance.
Additionally, make sure that the encapsulated material has no chance of absorbing and retaining water that will slowly wash away the asbestos.
Methods of encapsulation
There are various methods of encapsulating asbestos that can meet your needs based on the ACM (asbestos containing material). Here is a list of popular methods used to encapsulate asbestos.
- Mechanical encapsulation
This method involves the use of paint or the use of board and sheet material. While it’s easy to apply paints, fixing asbestos with boards that require screws exposes fibers that can be serious. However, proper maintenance throughout the process can eliminate this risk.
- Penetrating or spray encapsulation
You can encapsulate friable asbestos-containing material with a spray that can easily penetrate it. This method has many advantages over others because it penetrates deep into the material and gives it a strong, light and damage-resistant surface.
- Elastomeric coating
This method is popular because it provides protection for up to 20 years. When liquid encapsulants are applied, a uniform coating renders the surface impact resistant and flexible.
- Epoxy resins
It is one of the most popular encapsulants including coatings, composites and adhesives. Its adhesive properties help adhere to surfaces and provide ultimate resistance to asbestos-containing materials.
While going for encapsulation, you should check that the contractor takes the necessary steps and follows the techniques while encapsulating, as the application requires different procedures.
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