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Are you doing odd jobs or renovations and have a house or shed built before 1994? Then be extra vigilant. Asbestos may be present. Have a check beforehand to see if asbestos is present and take measures in time.

Asbestos is a material that used to be widely used for its insulating, durable and fire-resistant properties. You can find it in all sorts of places in the home, such as in:

- cement drainage pipes   - ceiling tiles
- roof boarding   - plates behind the boiler
- façade panels   - chimneys
- corrugated sheets   - windowsills
- kit of window frames   - linoleum
- pipes    

Asbestos has a major drawback. As  you start sawing, drilling or breaking in materials containing asbestos, many microscopic fibres are released. These fibres can easily be inhaled and enter the lungs. This can cause serious health problems, such as various forms of cancer, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, also known as asbestos cancer.

Be alert

That is why it is important to always be alert while doing odd jobs or remodelling in a house or shed built before 1994. Use the Tailored advice from Milieucentraal to find out if you may encounter asbestos.

Safe handling of asbestos

Here is a handy step-by-step plan to deal with asbestos safely:

  1. Do you suspect asbestos is present in your home or shed? Don't take a chance and have a professional inspection carried out to confirm it. A specialised company can take samples and examine them to see if asbestos is indeed present. If it is asbestos, they will give you advice on removal.
  2. Check whether you are allowed to remove it yourself. You are only allowed to remove asbestos yourself if the material:
  • No more than 35 m2 per address
  • asbestos fibres are firmly attached
  • is fixed with screws, not nails or staples
  • it is not glued

If the above does not apply, always ask a certified company. Discuss with the company who will make the notification to the Environment Desk, see step 3.

  1. Make a demolition notification to the Environment counter. If you may remove the asbestos yourself, report it to the Environment Counter and wait for permission from the environment department or municipality.
  2. First, watch the video below from Milieu Centraal:

Then gather all necessary materials, such as protective disposable clothing, a mouth mask (protection factor FFP3), goggles, gloves, work shoes, spray glue or hairspray , clean cloth, garden hose and masking tape.

  1. Prepare the room by emptying it and covering the floor with masking film. This will prevent asbestos from getting on your belongings.
  2. Choose a suitable day to start work, preferably a rainy and windless day to avoid asbestos fibres blowing away.
  3. Keep spray glue or hairspray handy for securing any bolts. Avoid breaking, sawing, sanding or scraping asbestos material.
  4. Safely wrap the removed asbestos and your disposable clothing in double plastic and clearly mark it as asbestos-containing waste. You should wrap the asbestos in special foil and tape it tightly shut. You can get this foil and tape for free at our waste disposal centre. Then rinse the package well with the garden hose. Then clean the work area with a wet cloth.
    Material resembling asbestos, such as asbestos-free corrugated sheets, are treated as asbestos at the waste disposal site. Therefore, this material must also be delivered properly packaged.
  5. Before taking asbestos to one of our environmental centres, you must submit a demolition notification to your local council. Sometimes you may also need a permit. You can find more information about this on your municipality's website.
  6. Before taking asbestos to the waste disposal site, you must obtain a fill in form stating that you are bringing asbestos. Give this form along with the demolition notification or permit to the manager of the environmental site.

By following these steps, you can handle asbestos safely and minimise risks during renovations and remodelling. In doubt about the presence of asbestos? If so, contact a professional for advice and inspection.