Tools & PPE Needed for the Safe Removal of Asbestos

Asbestos exposure causes more deaths in the world than any other work-related health hazards. On top of that, if you live in an apartment or house which predates the 90s, there is always a risk that you and your family could be exposed to the deadly fibers. To protect themselves and everyone in the building, these are the tools that a professional will use to get rid of the toxic substance safely.

Hazmat Suit with Asbestos Certification

Hazardous material suits, aka Hazmat suits or protective coverall suits, which are certified to provide full protection against asbestos fibers are the very first piece of PPE required for even entering a location suspected of having asbestos fibers. The certification ensures that asbestos is unable to permeate through the outer section of the suit and diffuse inside it.

Particulate Respirators

The hazmat suit may or may not include a P-A-3 particulate respirator but rest assured that you will need one to protect yourself from asbestosis and lung cancer. Preferably, it should have an ASTM/OSHA Standard Certificate as well to assure you of its efficacy. Also, the filters should have indicators to alert you well before a change is required to maintain safety.

Industrial Vacuum Cleaners

Industrial vacuum cleaners with 5-stage HEPA filtration systems are necessary for cleaning and safely collecting almost all types of hazardous dusts and particles, including asbestos fibers. In fact, industrial vacuum cleaners offer the only assured solution to get rid of all the loose particles from a place, whether they are floating on the air or resting on a surface (wall, floor, ceiling, furniture, etc.).

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Stripper Blades and Cassettes

This is the tool that gets the job done, whether you are collecting dust for asbestos testing or removing asbestos and lead from an old mansion’s basement. When you are collecting dust for testing, you will also need a few asbestos cassettes to store the samples in. For more extensive removal, you may need the next tool.

Infrared Heat-Based Tile Strippers

No soaking or scraping is required to safely get rid of asbestos from old homes if you are using an infrared heat-based tile stripper. These can be quite expensive, but they get the job done faster.

Asbestos Bags

All soaked materials containing asbestos, as well as the soaked dust itself, must only be collected for disposal inside industrial weight polyethylene bags, which are specifically manufactured and certified for soaked asbestos storage. The openings must be sealed with duct tape and the bags themselves can only be disposed of at special sites uniquely built for the purpose.

Asbestos kills hundreds of thousands of people all over the world every year and it will continue to do so unless usage is stopped globally. Unfortunately, over 100 countries are still involved in the direct or indirect usage and production of asbestos and asbestos products even in 2021. The only good news is that asbestos is not used in construction on US soil anymore. Plenty of old houses and apartment buildings built before the 90s still contain the toxic residues in them though, which is why inspections are so important.