Asbestos dust cleanup - need advice.

last month
last modified: last month

We recently realised that a ceiling we sanded part of (1x1 metre) and which continued to crumble creating dust for around 4 years contains up to 4% chrysotile. We've had it patched up by a professional now and the visible dust underneath hoovered but I'm just really concerned about the exposure we've had and how much has been spread through the house by hoovering and walking through the dust. We also had a builder remove another ceiling with the same material around 10 years ago not knowing it contained it, there was lots of dust at the time. We're planning on removing the carpet in the room where it was crumbling, do you think keeping it damp while removing would be a good idea so any residue fibres that have settled in the carpet aren't disturbed again? Also, do you have any advice on how likely it is that asbestos is lingering in the house from the previous ceiling removal and stupidly using a hoover on the dust? My family think I'm overreacting but I just dread to think what we've been exposed to especially younger family members playing in the room when the ceiling was crumbling and us making it airborne by hoovering. Would a carpet cleaner remove anything left over? I want to chuck out the sofa in the room it was crumbling but can't persuade other family members to as they don't realised the risks and think I'm just being paranoid. I rang a company about air testing and they said as there's a low amount of asbestos in the ceiling and it was done years ago, it's very unlikely to be in the air so they don't think it's worth doing, although I don't think they realised that it continued to crumble after we sanded it. I'd appreciate any advice.

Comments (2)

  • mii2
    last month

    Clearly you are extremely worried about your predicament and this will be causing you a great deal of stress and worry. You must remember that asbestos is everywhere and we are all exposed to it when out and about in built up areas - car brake pads are the cause of high asbestos levels at road junctions. Exposure at home has, for us all, not been caused by us deliberately ignoring health and safety advice, simply we have all worked with materials during DIY activities that we did not know contained asbestos and now that these building materials and their associated risks are being communicated more to us doing DIY, we now have our own decisions to make about how much we are prepared to follow the precautions. I am unsure if you can get true piece of mind from us on houzz as individuals attitudes to asbestos health and safety are very subjective. The British Lung Foundation Helpline (03000 030 555) is one organisation that can offer advice and I hope you can find help and support to move forwards. Your predicament will have many of us thinking back to previous jobs and wondering about the exposure we have had. We all need to consider asbestos exposure with our future DIY jobs.

  • Rachel
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @mii2 Thank you for your reply. I did speak to the British Lung Foundation to get advice about repairing the ceiling, it's just the residue dust that's been spread throughout the house that I'm now worried about and I don't want to seem like I'm wasting their time asking more questions. I know it's probably trace amounts as it's been spread around so much, it's just the fact that we've been exposed to so much that I don't want us to be exposed further. We have cracks in other ceilings which we now know contain the same asbestos but I'm not sure how to seal them. Would you say I'm overreacting about it being hoovered/walked through and moved around the house or do you think it's something that needs cleaning?

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