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Galbestos, what is it and why is it a problem?

Galbestos, what is it and why is it a problem?

Galbestos is an asbestos containing material (ACM) introduced in the 1940’s. It was used as a roofing or walling material instead of plain metal sheeting. Galbestos became popular because the way metal sheeting was treated prevented corrosion.

Part of the treatment process included creating a coating for the metal sheeting from fibrous asbestos soaked in a petrol-like substance. Despite this, the asbestos retains its fibrous quality and these fibres still have the potential to be airborne. Therefore galbestos has the same health risks that are associated with all products containing asbestos.

What to do if you find galbestos sheeting?

ACMs pose no health risks when they are intact. If the galbestos is damaged or you want to remove it; make sure you follow the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines.

They recommend when you are in the presence of asbestos you must wear Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) and disposable Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE).

Be careful not to damage the galbestos. If you see any exposed surfaces dampen them with water. This will stop the asbestos fibres becoming airborne. Do some research on where you can dispose of ACMs before you start work as they are not accepted by every landfill or tip.

For more information about ACMs and the health and safety guidance click here.

Health and safety should take priority when you are dealing with asbestos. As galbestos was originally used as a roofing material, accessing and moving it is also one of the dangers if you don’t have the right equipment.

Galbestos is not easy to identify, so ask a licensed surveyor to assess the area. They will establish the amount of the asbestos and help you decide the most appropriate course of action.

For more information regarding asbestos surveys click here.

Artex

Artex Asbestos Removal

What is artex?

Artex is a term used for a type of plaster applied to walls and ceilings to create a textured finish. This technique was widely used in Britain in the 1970s, mainly with the familiar stippled and swirled patterns.

Is it dangerous?

Usually harmless, artex becomes hazardous when damaged or disturbed. Common between 1950’s and 1980’s, asbestos was a key component to the plaster and used as a strengthening agent. The danger arises when the asbestos fibres are airborne. Inhaled, these fibres can cause health problems that are potentially fatal. Highlighting the importance of handling and disposing of damaged or unwanted artex properly.

What to do if artex is found?

Actions depend on the condition of the plaster and intentions for the area featuring artex texturing. If intact with no intent to remove or disturb the plaster, it poses no health risks. However if the artex is damaged, precautionary procedures need to be followed.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommend if any artex is damaged or found incomplete, work should stop immediately due to the likelihood of asbestos fibres in the air.

How to remove artex?

Asbestos-containing artex is classified by the HSE as a non-licensed material. This means it does not require an HSE licensed contractor to remove it. However, when conducting large scale removal then a notifiable non-licensed work (NNLW) form must be completed and sent to the HSE.

For more information on HSE guidelines click here.

To suppress any asbestos fibres that become airborne during work, it is recommended to dampen the surface of the plaster (water is suitable for this) and cover surfaces below the work area.

It is essential that Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) and disposable Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) is worn whilst working with the plaster. This will reduce the risk of any airborne fibres being inhaled.

It may be advisable that the total works are conducted by a company that can safely remove and dispose of any asbestos due to health risks, disposal complications and legislation.

For more information regarding asbestos removal click here.