5 items you must have to remove asbestos safely

Removing asbestos is a hazardous activity, and as such has strict requirements for personal protection equipment.  The following 5 items are essential to have before undertaking any asbestos removal work.

A Good Respirator

An ordinary dust mask is not enough to protect you when working with asbestos.  You should have at least a P2 mask, a half face filter with goggles or a full face respirator is preferred.   Remember to be clean shaven when wearing your mask to avoid unwanted entry of asbestos particles. Keep the mask on until all throwaway clothing has been bagged and disposed of.

  1. 3M Ultimate FX Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator FF-402, Respiratory Protection, Medium
  2. 3M 6502QL Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator, Medium
  3. Moldex 4200N95 4200 Disposable Respirator, White

Protective Eyewear

If not using a full face respirator you will need eye protection.  As with the respirator the goggles must create a seal around the eye area to prevent asbestos fibers entering.  Anti-fog goggles are much more convenient and there is not much difference in price.

  1. DEWALT DPG82-11 Concealer Clear Anti-Fog Dual Mold Safety Goggle
  2. 3M Virtua CCS Protective Eyewear 11872-00000-20, Foam Gasket, Anti Fog Lens, Clear
  3. Uvex Stealth OTG Safety Goggles with Anti-Fog/Anti-Scratch Coating (S3970DF)

Hazard Tape

This is mostly likely in your toolbox already, but remember to get it out even if nobody is around. Proper demarcation is required to meet OH&S requirements but it also is useful just in case the worst happens and someone comes onto the work site and is injured.  Not a bad idea to take a photo of your demarcation at the start of each job.

  1. Comfitwear PT-100 Caution Barricade Tape, Yellow
  2. Intertape Polymer Group 600CC 300 Barricade Ribbon, Caution
  3. JVCC HZ-8LP Laminated Premium Hazard Warning Tape: 3 in. x 18 yds. (Black with Yellow stripes)

Coveralls and Shoe Covers

Disposable coveralls and shoe covers are a must when dealing with asbestos, especially friable asbestos, as the fibers can be to small to detect with the naked eye and may remain on clothing unnoticed.  Don’t be tempted to reuse, it’s not worth it.

  1. DuPont Tyvek TY127S Disposable Coverall with Hood, Elastic Cuff, White, X-Large (Pack of 6)
  2. Kleenguard A35 Disposable Coveralls (38941), Liquid and Particle Protection, Hooded, White, 2X-Large (2XL), 25 Garments / Case
  3. Lakeland ChemMax 3 TES Taped Level B Encapsulated Suit with Flat Back and Back Entry, Disposable, Elastic Cuff, 2X-Large, Gray

Suitable Gloves

You will definitely need some sort of protection for your hands.  When more intricate work is required thinner gloves are preferred.  For demolition style removals with extended work hours your hands may thank you for investing in a padded glove, but at the end of the day they should still be bagged and disposed of.

  1. Custom Leathercraft 125M Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves, Medium
  2. Better Grip Heavy Duty Premium Nitrile Rubber Fully Coated Gloves with Safety Cuffs, Smooth, Blue, Chemical Resistant, Large (1 Pair)
  3. Ammex X3 Xtreme Blue Nitrile Glove, Latex Free, Disposable, Powder Free, Small (Box of 100)