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

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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.

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