Top Tips for Correct Usage of Asbestos Disposal Bags

When an asbestos abatement company is contracted to remove the material from a facility, they come equipped with different supplies, including approved vacuums, warning tags and tapes, PPEs, transit airlocks, wipes and rags and asbestos disposal bags. While most of the supplies are only used during the removal process, only asbestos disposal bags go all the way to the disposal stage. Thus, asbestos removal technicians must use disposal bags correctly or risk exposing themselves and the public to cancerous asbestos fibres. This article highlights tips for the correct usage of asbestos disposal bags.

Use with Damp Asbestos Only — Asbestos disposal bags are made from tough industrial weight polyethylene; therefore, it is easy to assume that asbestos fibres cannot prick the material. While it could be true, asbestos removal technicians do not take chances when disposing of dangerous material. It is why experts recommend that only damp asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) should be sealed in disposal bags. If you put dry asbestos or ACMs in disposal bags, the chances are high that sharp parts of the waste might tear the polythene bag and release asbestos fibres into the air. Since water adds weight to asbestos fibres, they are less likely to get airborne even if disposal bags are breached.

Observe Weight Regulations — Just because damp friable asbestos shrinks does not mean you should squeeze everything inside one or two disposal bags. Asbestos removal technicians should observe weight regulations concerning how much damp asbestos can safely be sealed in a disposal bag. Ideally, the regulations in most Australian jurisdictions dictate that a sealed asbestos disposal bag must not exceed 30kg. Weight regulations are necessary because an average asbestos removal technician can easily carry a 30kg polythene bag filled with asbestos material. Anything heavier than the limit might tempt technicians to drag disposal bags on the ground or carry them on their backs, which is dangerous.

Use Appropriate Tape — Once wet asbestos is put inside polythene bags, technicians seal it using appropriate tape. Notably, you cannot use any tape because some are difficult to decontaminate in a decontamination chamber. It means that used tape could still contain asbestos fibres, exposing workers to danger. Therefore, the ideal tape for sealing asbestos disposal bags must be easy to decontaminate to keep technicians safe. In this regard, double-sided wide tapes are arguably the best option for asbestos management. Any asbestos fibres on the tape will stick to the adhesive on the outer surface instead of floating away in the air.

For more information on asbestos disposal, contact a professional near you.