Environmental Impact of Improper Asbestos Disposal

While asbestos was once considered to be a versatile material and uniquely suited for use where heat and strength were required due to its natural insulation and tensile properties, it is now known to be a major health risk. In the recent past, it has been ascertained that the careless disposal of this material poses a considerable risk.

The appropriate management of used asbestos has become a great necessity. However, improper disposal methods of asbestos are still a source of detrimental environmental and health hazards.

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What is Asbestos and Its Risks?

Asbestos refers to a set of silicate fibres found in nature. It has been widely employed in various industries for constructing and manufacturing products until the late half of the 1900s. Its fibres, if settled and then disturbed, can be easily breathed in, causing severe diseases like lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.

This is why removing and disposing of asbestos properly without fail is important if it is present in any of these areas around you.

The Dangers on Environment due to Improper Asbestos Disposal

1. Environmental Contamination

If not disposed of properly, asbestos could leach into the ground and water sources. Once asbestos fibres are dispersed, they can persist in existence for a long time, hence creating continuous hazards for ecosystems. The animals, especially bigger ones, feed on plants; therefore, soil pollution affects plant life and, in extension, these animals.

2. Air Pollution

If asbestos is not properly disposed of, its fibres may get into the air, where people breathe them in one way or another. This not only puts the lives of others in close vicinity at risk but also subverts the flow of contamination through a specific area in the process. Asbestos fibres are small and lightweight and can distribute themselves over large areas when released into the air, impacting the airspace and health risks to the disease more people.

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3. Health Hazards

Based on the research and observations, consequence of improper disposal of asbestos is not limited to environment but it is also a threat to human life. The ulceration and inflammatory conditions of the respiratory system can be caused by asbestos fibres are irreversible and lead to cancers.

Since this is a serious matter, many groups spread awareness and discuss the issue and its impact on people, especially those engaged in removing asbestos and those living near the disposing sites.

4. Water Pollution

Sometimes after constructional project is completed, the materials are disposed in common landfills that are not specially designed for hazardous waste disposal, which results in the pollution of groundwater. Other problems that arise if dispose it in water, include the fibres’ ability to dissolve in the water supply used by many individuals and animals.

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Proper Asbestos Disposal Practices

1. Professional Asbestos Removal

The first crucial factor that has to be followed for correct asbestos disposal is to make sure that asbestos is removed by those who have appropriate licenses. They have the skills and equipment required for incorporating and disposing of Asbestos without spreading fine fibres into the atmosphere.

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2. Designated Disposal Sites

Typically, once the asbestos is removed, it has to be disposed of in special centres that deal with hazardous wastes. These are capable of handling asbestos and thus neutralising any chances of polluting the surrounding environment. That is why it is wrong to dispose of asbestos in a normal garbage bin that is nondirective as well as through any illegal ways.

3. Safe Handling and Transport

Asbestos should be packed and transported in leaking-tight containers to the place of disposal in order to avoid scattering the hazardous material into the surrounding environment. This helps in containing the fibres from coming out and thus polluting the surrounding air or any other areas.

4. Compliance with Regulations

It is very important to comply with the existing rules of legislation relating to disposal of asbestos at local and national level. These consist of existing regulations and new ones formulated to protect the public health and the environment against asbestos risks.

Asbestos at Home: A few things homeowners should be aware of

There are complaints from homeowner, which have infested their homes or building with asbestos in the insulation, roof, tiles etc since they mostly use older products. Even if there is a suspicion of the presence of asbestos in your home, it should not be touched at any cost.

Consult with an expert in case of such a situation and seek for their help in order to eliminate it if it’s possible. If you try to embark on asbestos removal process, there are several dangers and adverse effects on health and pollution of the environment.

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When disposed improperly, it becomes hazardous in the environment and can cause health complications to people nearby. To avoid these risks, it is required to practice correct disposal of the material, such as using professional services to remove asbestos and designing separate hazardous waste disposal locations.

In order to prevent such incidents for the future, it is important for people to learn what asbestos is, why it is dangerous and how it should be disposed appropriately to prevent harm to human beings and the environment.