Asbestos Waste Reduction and Impacts of Waste

Most of us are probably unaware of the dangers of Asbestos and in particular safe Asbestos Waste Reduction. Did you know that Asbestos is still regularly found in many homes over 30 years old?  Virgil Anderson, who now suffers from asbestos cancer, has written extensively about this issue and writes about what we can do if we come across asbestos at home or work.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral found in rock. It was mined for centuries and used as a building material because it is fire resistant. However, when asbestos fibres break off and are released into the air, they can pose a major health risk when inhaled. Asbestos exposure is linked to a rare cancer called mesothelioma, which is a type of lung cancer. Extended exposure to asbestos can also cause another lung disease called asbestosis.

Disposal of Asbestos

Because asbestos was so frequently used as a building material in the past, many construction jobs involving demolition and remodelling require workers to handle asbestos. Thus, builders and construction companies must often dispose of asbestos waste. However, some private citizens may also find asbestos in their homes. In such a case, the citizen must contact his or her garbage collector or an asbestos removal company for advice on how to remove the material.

The government puts restrictions on how asbestos waste must be handled and disposed of. Not every landfill accepts asbestos waste. If a company or citizen wants to expose of asbestos material, then the person must call the waste company before disposing of the asbestos to check if the material is accepted by that particular landfill.

Impacts of Asbestos Waste

It is unlawful to dispose of asbestos with regular household trash. Doing so could be harmful to curbside garbage collectors, and it can also contaminate recycling materials when it touches them. The waste must be packaged, transported and disposed of according to government regulations. Such regulations protect recycling, people and the environment against contamination. Specific laws may vary by state. Contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning laws on asbestos and its removal.

Asbestos waste has a negative impact on the environment. Studies have shown that asbestos dust can become airborne and get into the water supply. Asbestos can also settle on soil and be blown into the air, and this can result in it being carried into human lungs. So, asbestos can still pose a health risk even after it is disposed of. For these reasons, asbestos should only be disposed of in designated dumping areas.

Waste Reduction

One thing to remember about asbestos is that it is not typically harmful unless it is disturbed. Many houses and buildings built before the 1980s in the United States have asbestos in them. However, only when the asbestos is disturbed and the fibres are released into the air do people breathe in the harmful mineral.

In order to reduce the amount of asbestos waste, it is best to let asbestos remain undisturbed in buildings and homes. However, if a building must be torn down or renovated, all government regulations must be followed for the safety of people and the environment. If an asbestos-infected building needs repairs and has cracks in it, the particles can still escape and harm the environment. Such buildings must be sectioned off to keep others away from the mineral until the asbestos can be safely removed.

Asbestos can also be recycled, which helps eliminate waste. Researchers have found that they can use chemical reactions and heat to destroy asbestos and reuse it by making it into ceramics or glass. The process is complicated and should only be attempted by a professional. The government has strict laws on the recycling of asbestos.

In the past few decades, people have gradually learned more about asbestos and how it causes cancer and other lung illnesses. Many people who have gotten sick worked in the asbestos mining industries, navy shipyards and construction companies, and this is because those industries often exposed workers to the material. However, now that the health risks related to asbestos are common knowledge, the question of how to dispose of it properly has caused some confusion. While private citizens can read about asbestos and learn how to dispose of it properly, it is still best for citizens to call a professional asbestos removal company rather than dispose of the waste themselves.