Asbestos in the home

  • Asbestos is usually safe unless it's damaged or disturbed
  • paint indoor materials with an alkali resistant paint such as PVA emulsion
  • never sand, drill or saw asbestos materials
  • always seek advice before removing asbestos
  • only licensed contractors should attempt to remove asbestos lagging, spray coatings or large areas of insulation board
  • unfortunately, there are currently no grants available for asbestos removal in Wirral

DIY work with asbestos

  1. Asbestos fibres can only cause harm if they are released into the air and inhaled.
  2. Once in place and during normal use products containing asbestos present very little hazard in the home. In most cases asbestos fibres are bonded in the material and cannot be released unless the material is disturbed or damaged.
  3. It should be noted that DIY materials rarely contain asbestos.
  4. Interference with asbestos containing materials during DIY activities (drilling, sawing, sanding etc.) can result in significant exposures for a short time and must therefore be avoided if at all possible.
  5. Householders carrying out work with asbestos should follow the advice outlined below:

Precautions when working with asbestos materials

  • wear protective clothing (preferably disposable) and a disposable dust mask ‘CE’ marked to EN 149 with FFP2 particulate filters suitable for protection against asbestos
  • take care not to create dust
  • keep the material wet during the work
  • do not drill, cut or disturb asbestos unless absolutely necessary
  • use hand tools rather than power tools
  • do not scrape or sand asbestos materials before painting and decorating (consider covering over existing decorations rather than attempting to remove them)
  • avoid inhaling any dust created
  • collect and dispose of waste safely. Wet small amounts of asbestos waste and put in two strong plastic bags, seal tightly and mark ‘ASBESTOS’ on the outer bag
  • do not break up asbestos cement sheets. Wrap in polythene sheeting, seal and label
  • asbestos waste should never be put in a household dustbin. Contact the local authority for advice on disposal
  • keep other people away and demarcate the work area
  • any work involving asbestos lagging, spray or coatings must be undertaken by a licensed asbestos removal contractor and not by the householder
  • clean up afterwards using a damp cloth. Dispose of the cloth and asbestos waste and put in two strong plastic bags, seal tightly and mark ‘ASBESTOS’ on the outer bag

Disposal of domestic asbestos cement sheeting at Bidston Moss civic waste reception facility

  1. house holders, but not businesses, can tip asbestos cement sheets once every 3 weeks on a Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
  2. the sheets have to be wrapped in heavy duty polythene sheeting or placed in large plastic bags and sealed with tape.
  3. telephone Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) on 255 1444 and book a slot on a Wednesday. You will be sent a delivery note, giving the delivery date and time, and a map to get to Bidston Moss
  4. There is one skip available that can take 1000 units of asbestos sheeting (60 units equals approximately one garage roof of corrugated asbestos cement sheeting or approximately 16 to 17 garage roofs)
  5. MWDA also has similar facilities in Huyton and Southport

Please email Environmental Health for more information: environmentalhealth@wirral.gov.uk