Surely you have heard about asbestos on more than one occasion and you probably even know the concern that exists when it comes to getting rid of it. Although it has been a widely used product in construction, in recent decades we have realized the impact that this material has on our health. You know why? Do you know how it can be withdrawn?
What is asbestos
Asbestos is a term that groups together a series of minerals composed of iron, aluminum and magnesium present in nature in different varieties.
Its characteristics, such as mechanical and abrasion resistance, thermal – acoustic insulation, low electrical conductivity and resistance to fire and chemical agents, added to its low cost, have led to this material being used in a wide variety of products, especially in the sector. industrial for the composition of fiber cement .
However, when health problems and even deaths in workers exposed to this material began to be detected, studies began to be carried out and measures were proposed that have evolved over the years, so that, today, its use it is prohibited by law in many countries.
Asbestos poses a danger when there is prolonged contact and the material is handled, since, when it is fragmented, its fibers can enter the respiratory system, leading to health problems. In addition, they can also adhere to clothing, being able to be transported and affect people who have not been in contact with the material.
There are three types of diseases caused by asbestos , all of which are irreversible:
- Lung cancer : it is the leading cause of death related to exposed patients. It is a disease with a long latency period, that is, the disease manifests itself long after exposure to the material.
- Malignant mesothelioma : is cancer that affects the pleura and peritoneum, which are membranes located in the rib cage responsible for separating the organs. It usually affects people who have done work with asbestos for at least 30 years before its appearance, although in some cases it has also developed in people with very mild exposures.
- Asbestosis : it is a chronic disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. The fibers penetrate the lungs and irritate the tissue, inflaming it and causing thickening and scarring of the lung tissue that makes breathing difficult.
Once we know the dangers of asbestos we can understand the importance of proceeding with a very meticulous management of those wastes that contain this component.
The guidelines for the removal and management of asbestos are regulated by law, therefore, it will be necessary to contact specialized companies , registered in the RERA (Register of Companies with Risk of Amiento) that guarantee compliance with current security measures . Among these measures included in the asbestos regulations we will highlight:
- The training of workers : they must know the danger they face, the means of prevention to minimize exposure, the safest practices and the requirements in terms of health surveillance.
- Risk assessment : it includes the need to ensure that no worker will be exposed to a concentration greater than 0.1 asbestos fibers per cm³ in 8 hours.
- Preparation of a work plan : this plan defines the treatment and management of the waste, a process that includes various activities such as collection, storage, transport, final treatment and disposal, as well as the monitoring of the deposit sites. To carry out any of these operations, the manager must be authorized by the corresponding Autonomous Community.
This is how the corrugated iron removal process should be :
- Collection : the collection of waste containing asbestos is carried out separately and independently of any other type of waste.
- Storage : the waste must be stored, packed in sealed packages and labeled, with a maximum temporary storage time of 6 months.
- Transport : transport is carried out in authorized vehicles as quickly as possible, it is not advisable to exceed a period of 24 hours between loading and unloading them. In addition, the marking of both the waste and the means of transport is necessary. Once the download is complete, the vehicle will be properly examined and cleaned.
- Final treatment in an authorized landfill : these are facilities for the elimination of waste enabled for the reception, control and monitoring of asbestos without forgetting that all operations carried out in the landfill where workers are exposed to the material must comply with the specified requirements by law.
Finally, it is necessary to mention that the removal or removal of asbestos in unauthorized landfills or in nature is considered an ecological crime and is penalized with fines and even jail terms.