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Table 6: Summary of asbestos management options
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Table 6: Summary of asbestos management options

 

Asbestos management option

Option involves

Appropriate when

Not appropriate when

Advantages

Disadvantages

Removal

Complete removal of asbestos or ACM from building

  • surface is friable or asbestos is poorly bonded
  • asbestos is severely water-damaged or liable to damage or deterioration
  • there is lichen growth or lichen-related damage
  • asbestos is located in air conditioning ducts
  • airborne asbestos levels exceed trace level
  • other control techniques are inappropriate
  • asbestos is located on complex or inaccessible surfaces
  • removal would be extremely difficult and other techniques are satisfactory
  • hazard and risk is eliminated
  • no further action required
  • increase in immediate risk of exposure, particularly to removal workers
  • creates significant disruption to building occupants
  • may be the most costly, complex and time-consuming option
  • removal may increase fire risk in a building, requiring substitute material
  • potential to contaminate building if removal not carried out correctly

Encapsulation[12]

Coating ACM with a product that penetrates into and hardens the material

  • asbestos removal is difficult or not feasible
  • minimal likelihood of asbestos being damaged
  • building has a short life expectancy
  • asbestos is visible for regular assessment
  • asbestos is deteriorating or is water-damaged
  • applying the sealant may damage the asbestos
  • area of damaged asbestos is large
  • quick and cost-effective
  • asbestos dust is contained
  • hazard is not eliminated
  • if the area of asbestos is large, it may be similar in cost to removal
  • eventual removal may be more difficult and costly
  • enclosure and clearance procedures are still required

Sealing

Applying a protective coating that creates an impermeable seal for the asbestos

  • asbestos removal is difficult or not feasible
  • minimal likelihood of asbestos being damaged
  • building has a short life expectancy
  • asbestos is readily visible for regular assessment
  • asbestos is deteriorating or has been water-damaged
  • applying the sealant may damage the asbestos
  • area of damaged asbestos is large
  • quick and cost-effective
  • asbestos dust is contained
  • hazard is not eliminated
    if the area of asbestos is large, it may be similar in cost to removal
  • eventual removal may be more difficult and costly
  • enclosure and clearance procedures are still required

Enclosure[13]

Placing a barrier between ACM and the surrounding environment

  • asbestos removal is extremely difficult
  • fibres can be fully contained within the enclosure
  • most of the surface is inaccessible (enclosed)
  • disturbance to, or entry into the enclosure is unlikely
  • enclosure is liable to be damaged or water damage may occur
  • asbestos cannot be fully enclosed
  • minimal disruption to occupants
  • provides an adequate method of asbestos control for some situations
  • asbestos hazard remains
  • ongoing maintenance of enclosure required
  • asbestos management programme required
  • enclosure has to be removed before removing asbestos
  • entry into the enclosure prohibited

Deferral

No action taken at the present time

  • risk of asbestos exposure is negligible, and
  • asbestos is inaccessible and fully contained, or
    asbestos is stable and unlikely to be damaged
  • there is a possibility of asbestos damage or deterioration
  • airborne asbestos dust levels exceed trace level
  • no initial cost
  • cost of removal is deferred
  • asbestos hazard remains
  • ongoing assessment and monitoring is required
  • asbestos management programme required

 

Table 6: Summary of asbestos management options

 


Footnotes

[12] If the enclosure, encapsulation or sealing options are used in commercial buildings, the location of the asbestos must be clearly indicated to note the presence of asbestos and recorded on asbestos records and asbestos management plans.

[13] Only acceptable if ACM is in good condition and the barrier is designed to protect against mechanical damage.

 

Go back to the Management and Removal of Asbestos Approved Code of Practice

Last updated 13 October 2016