Asbestos control has become an ever-increasing issue across recent years, with more and more of the mineral being uncovered within buildings and structures. In order to keep up with the rising demand for its removal new technologies are being developed, to increase the safety and efficiency of the process.
Developments in the detection of asbestos
With the capacity of its airborne fibres to cause lung cancer, asbestos instillation has been banned in many countries. However, a lot of buildings across the world still hold insulation containing asbestos, which can get stirred up when any work is done on the building. In order to protect workers from accidental exposure, scientists at the University of Hertfordshire are working on the development of the world’s first portable, real-time detector of airborne asbestos.
The device examines the fibres in the air, and is able to determine whether or not any of them are harmful. It does this by shining a laser beam into a stream of air, and when the laser hits a particle of any type, the object scatters the light in an individual pattern, which is enough for the machine to determine the shape, size and orientation of the particle.
From here the air stream continues through a magnetic field, and if any of the identified fibres are asbestos, they will align themselves with the direction of that field, a characteristic that is unique to asbestos.
Prototypes of this device are now being tested in a variety of location where asbestos removal operations are under way. It’s hoped that the first production models may be available for use by tradespeople within 12 to 18 months.
Developments in the disposal of asbestos
As well as a renewed interest in the detection of asbestos there has also been developments in the safe and efficient removal of the mineral once it has been founds.
Windsor Waste Management, a market leader in the UK asbestos disposal industry has secured an exclusive deal to bring a thermocline treatment process for destroying asbestos to the UK.
This clean technology destroys asbestos fibres and produces an inert non-hazardous product that can be used in many construction applications. The technology has been successfully used to treat asbestos by the US Department of Defence, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency as well as a number of private organisations. This process will reportedly divert hundreds of thousands of tons of asbestos away form landfills and produces and safe and useful product.
We hope that you have found this blog interesting, and if you need any advice on suspected asbestos in either commercial or domestic properties, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0333 772 0424.