It is still common to find old asbestos plates, especially during a renovation. Due to the danger they represent for health, you must get rid of them by observing certain precautions. Where should you deposit your asbestos or fiber cement sheets? What are the precautions for handling or storing them? We explain the procedure to get rid of your old asbestos sheets safely.
1 – Asbestos has been banned since 1997
Commonly used until 1997, fiber cement sheets are still found in buildings prior to that date. Asbestos is present almost everywhere: in roofs, flooring, coatings, pipes, paints, etc. In the form of plates, it is mainly found in roofs and insulation materials.
Prohibited for sale since 1997, asbestos must be completely eradicated in the years to come. Have you found fiber cement sheets at home? The law requires you to eliminate them. Attention : it is strictly forbidden to leave this type of waste on the public highway. The law provides for penalties of up to one year in prison.
2 – Two kinds of asbestos: free or bound
In construction, there are two types of asbestos waste:
- Asbestos free. This type of friable asbestos is found in the flocking of many buildings, but also in door seals or certain glues. It has long been used not only in construction but also in the automotive or textile sectors. Free asbestos is very volatile and highly toxic.
- Asbestos bonded. It is the one that makes up the fiber cement sheets, and that is also found in some planters or pipes. Many garages are still covered with asbestos corrugated sheets.
3 – What are the dangers of asbestos?
Studies have clearly proven the danger of asbestos to health. Highly toxic, this volatile product mainly infiltrates the lungs and causes numerous cancers. Whatever its form, the many qualities of asbestos are not for nothing in its success. Fire resistant, rot-proof, thermal and acoustic insulation, this versatile material had the advantage of not being expensive. So what’s his problem? As it ages, it becomes crumbly; that’s what makes it dangerous. When broken, asbestos releases microscopic, invisible and odorless fibres. It is enough to breathe them to expose oneself to the risk of cancer.
4 – I discover asbestos plates at home: what should I do?
Most often, individuals discover old fiber cement sheets during a renovation.
- If the renovation is carried out by a company, you do not have to worry about the evacuation of asbestos plates. The professional must take charge of the waste from his site. He is competent to evacuate fiber cement safely. The asbestos sheets will be given to a company specializing in the management of toxic waste. As the owner, you will have to pay the cost of transporting and disposing of this special waste. The company will give you a “hazardous waste monitoring slip”, signed by all the parties concerned. This document thus guarantees the traceability of the waste.
- If you are renovating a home yourself, without going through a professional, it’s up to you to manage the toxic waste on your site. Asbestos removal is strictly regulated by law, including for individuals, especially if the quantity of infected materials is significant. In this case, decree no. 2012-639 of May 4, 2012 provides for the intervention of a professional for the disposal of materials containing asbestos. You will have to complete certain administrative procedures that serve to identify and list the places disinfected with asbestos. Your municipality will be able to tell you the exact formalities.
5 – Where should I deposit my asbestos sheets?
To evacuate toxic waste, it is not enough to go to an ordinary recycling centre.
- In each department, some specialized waste collection centers accept bound asbestos waste, which includes asbestos cement sheets. Check with the town hall of your municipality or on the internet (on the SINOE website) for a list. It is advisable to contact the recycling center by telephone before dropping off your license plates. Indeed, some require you to make an appointment. They can also provide you with certain elements intended to secure transport: packaging, personal protective equipment (PPE), instructions. Ask the recycling center how many asbestos plates it accepts and whether the deposit is free or not.
- If you have a large stock of plates, it is better to call on a specialized company certified. These collection companies manage the transport of the asbestos, its deposit in a specialized site and its treatment. Their cost represents the price of security. The list of certified companies can be found on the Qualibat or AFNOR sites.
6 – How to handle asbestos sheets?
Do you want to evacuate your fiber cement sheets yourself? In this case, follow certain precautions when handling this toxic waste. Be all the more careful that your responsibility is engaged concerning the damages for the health of your neighborhood.
- never break an asbestos sheet. Don’t saw it, brush it, or do anything that can release its toxic fibers.
- water your plates to reduce the risk of fiber volatility. Once wet, the plates are a little less dangerous.
- Protect yourself : gloves, protective goggles and respiratory mask type FFP3 (for single use), waterproof suit.
- Unscrew your plates if they are fixed on a support, then drop them gently on the ground. Be careful not to break them…
- Impose a security perimeter to your surroundings and your neighbours. A barrier or tape to physically delimit the area must be accompanied by a sign indicating the nature of the danger. A beautiful “Danger asbestos”, clear and clean.
- Use bags provided for the transport of asbestos waste (IBC or Big Bag marked “asbestos danger”). You will find them in specialized recycling centers. Failing that, use plastic film to roll up the plates.
- After handling the asbestos sheets, clean carefully all your protections. Throw single-use items in an airtight bag marked “Danger asbestos”.
- And take a good douche !
NB : For asbestos floor tiles, call on a specialized company, especially if they are damaged.
7 – How to store asbestos slabs?
You have made an appointment with the recycling centre, but in the meantime, the slabs are still at your home… Here again, a few precautions are necessary to prevent the asbestos from spreading into the air.
- regroup your fiber cement sheets, well wrapped, and tarp the heap. If you can, put them on a pallet.
- Place the deposit sufficiently loin dwellings.
- Choose a place sheltered wind to store the slabs.
- Put a sign on the stock with the mention “Danger asbestos”.
8 – What precautions for transporting the plates?
Even for a small quantity of Fiber Cement, you must pack the sheets carefully before transporting them to a specialized treatment site. If you only have a few plates, you don’t need a hazardous waste tracking slip. But this does not exempt you from other precautions:
- Pack and identify waste;
- Use a covered trailer rather than the trunk of your vehicle;
- Wash the trailer after transport.
If you have a big quantity of asbestos sheets or that they are very degraded, do not transport this waste. You must use a certified company.
9 – I have a fiber cement slab roof: asbestos removal or containment?
You have an old room covered with asbestos sheets. What to do ?
- If the roof shows signs of wearyou must remove asbestos. Remove the plates and replace them with a safe material.
- If the roof seems good conditionyou can just do the confinement plates. It is a question of covering them with an elastomeric bitumen. This product traps and fixes the asbestos, preventing the particles from escaping. If the condition of the roof allows it, this operation is much less expensive than asbestos removal.
10 – I am selling or demolishing my house; how to know if there is asbestos?
In the event of the sale of real estate, it is mandatory to carry out a diagnosis to detect the presence of asbestos. You will find details on the website of the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion.
If you have any doubts about the presence of asbestos in your home, you can contact a certified professional or request a sample from a specialized laboratory.
There are several types of diagnostics :
- The Asbestos Technical Diagnosis (DTA) to identify visible asbestos. It is mandatory for the sale.
- The Diagnosis Before Works (DAT) to identify asbestos hidden in the infrastructures.
- The Asbestos Diagnosis of Private Parts (DAPP) to detect hidden asbestos in apartment buildings, apartments, basements and garages.
- The Diagnosis Before Demolition (DAD) is the subject of complete investigations and carried out by a certified and insured professional.