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Advice needed please re asbestos

(17 Posts)
Houseprobs Wed 20-Sep-17 09:41:00

Is there anyone that can give some advice on this please?

A while ago we had some asbestos testing done in our house. All clear, no problems with that. However, the man from the asbestos company told me where he had been prior to coming to my house and he had been at a school drilling through Asbestos insulating board and also inspecting a flat where the owner had unknowingly drilled through asbestos insulation board and that as soon as he (man from asbestos company) had walked in he could see it all over the carpet. I know that asbestos insulation board contains brown asbestos.

I asked him if he had worn protective gear as obviously he had come straight to my house afterwards. He said no as he had used a special vacuum on the drill when he was drilling at the school so no need. And at the man's house he didn't wear any either despite the contamination. He said that "it wouldn't jump off the floor at me would it".

My understanding is that asbestos workers/surveyors etc should where protective clothing and clean down after dealing with a contamination like this or carrying out works like this to avoid the spread. Or is inspecting something like this considered safe? I assume he didn't walk around in the asbestos dust and inspected it from a safe distance but is this still safe? Also if what he did was bad practice he surely would have known this and lied to me saying that he had thoroughly cleaned down beforehand...wouldn't he?

The room that the asbestos man went into in my house has not been used since because I am terrified of any potential contamination spreading to the rest of the house (he entered and excited via that room not going anywhere else in the house at all). But we cannot keep living like this. I emailed the company at the time and got not reply. The company seems to be well respected and are members of ARCA and have various accreditations.

Family think I am over anxious about this and do not see a problem but I am honestly terrier of fibres being spread into children's bedrooms etc. Is this justified?

I'm hoping to hear from people who work within the industry to tell me if this is normal. Thank you if you have got this far!

ToddlersAndCoffee Wed 20-Sep-17 09:47:59

I have no real advice but have have also been incrediablly worried about aspetos in the past. One thing that jumps to mind that I remember reading is that aspetos is a natural substance. It's in the air we breath (in small doses!!!) I would wipe everything down with a damp cloth and put it to the back of my mind aslong as you can't actually see any aspetos! If you can then I would call the company back to clean it, try not to worry I know it's hard, believe me!

Houseprobs Wed 20-Sep-17 10:20:19

Thanks for your reply

wowfudge Wed 20-Sep-17 11:16:56

I think you are way too anxious about this. To be harmful the fibres have to be breathed in, not just on the floor. The chance of the guy bringing enough fibres into your home which are then transferred to the air and breathed in in quantities sufficient to be harmful are nil to miniscule.

guilty100 Wed 20-Sep-17 11:27:11

Hmmm, it sounds to me like he wasn't following procedure wrt clothing. The advice I had when removing asbestos (cemented) in my own house was to wear a certain kind of suit and mask, and to roll these down carefully and dispose of them after use. You also had to don washable boots (wellies) and ensure that the elasticated ankles of the suit went down over these preventing any transfer inside - the boots had to be washed carefully outdoors afterwards. So I think you're right to raise this with the company concerned because I'm almost certain there will be regulations on this, and that this bloke is likely to be breaking them.

That said, I think your levels of anxiety here are disproportionate to the risk you've incurred. Asbestos is everywhere in the built environment around us - chances are you've been in many, many rooms with it and not known. It is highly, highly unlikely that you will develop any problems from it being in a room in your house, provided you're not disturbing it by drilling through it, bashing it, etc.

With the guy coming into your house, the amount that would be transferred on shoes or clothing would really be small, and you'd be very, very unlucky indeed to have any problems from it - I think you're more likely to be run over by a car when you next cross the road. This doesn't mean you shouldn't raise your safety concerns with the company, however. If nothing else, this gentleman and his family need protecting from his actions!

Houseprobs Wed 20-Sep-17 11:55:40

I just don't understand why he would have told me that he wasn't wearing protective equipment as if this is what he should have done as its such a heavily regulated industry surely. Unless he was inspecting the contamination from a safe distance?

Houseprobs Wed 20-Sep-17 14:01:51

Is there anyone here that works in or knows about the asbestos industry? I feel really stuck with this and need to sort it...

Houseprobs Thu 21-Sep-17 07:55:45


Houseprobs Fri 22-Sep-17 11:16:13

Just bumping again because I'm sure there are people here who work in the asbestos industry

Ruhrpott Fri 22-Sep-17 16:28:49

This sounds familiar. Haven’t you posted about this before? As far as I recall the visit must be nearly two years ago now. Is the room still closed off? Did you ever try contacting the company about it again?

Maybe if your so anxious you should get the room completely stripped out and redone with new floors, new wallpaper/plaster or whatever it takes for you to be happy start using it again or move house.

5rivers7hills Fri 22-Sep-17 16:40:53

Oh my god calm down. This is like, seriously crazy anxiety.

PatriciaHolm Fri 22-Sep-17 16:42:42

I'm sure I've read this before too, and you got the same answers then, including at least one from someone in the industry.

There is nothing to worry about. Your anxiety is the issue, not the (imaginary) asbestos.

RandomlyGenerated Fri 22-Sep-17 18:11:37

The likelihood of sufficient asbestos fibres having been transferred from the surveyor to your room to cause a risk is negligible.

You posted about this back in January, saying then that the visit from the surveyor was over a year ago. Your anxiety about this means that the room has been closed up for the best part of 2 years now?

Your family are right - you are massively over-reacting to this. Get the room thoroughly cleaned and you will hopefully be able to feel that you can move on.

wowfudge Sat 23-Sep-17 07:53:37

I have just re-read your previous thread. I think your anxiety and refusal to allow your family to use an entire room of your home are quite likely to be more damaging than any microscopic particle of asbestos which is there only in your imagination. Please ask your GP for help with your anxiety. You are seriously limiting your own life and impacting on those around you too.

Treebags Sat 23-Sep-17 11:44:47

My understanding is that asbestos related diseases result from long term exposure so a few fibres aren't a problem. Just think how many houses have asbestos and the home owners don't know so disturb it. Have you visited other people's homes and questioned them about their asbestos? How many people do you know with asbestos diseases? I know none. You are massively overacting. How many construction areas have you walked past and what if asbestos was blowing out due to the works? It would be easy to get obsessed. You need to let this go and live normally.

Houseprobs Sun 24-Sep-17 09:06:04

Thanks for the replies. In answer to the question about how many people I know who've had asbestos diseases, sadly I have known one which is why it is something on my radar. I really wish it wasn't!

guilty100 Mon 25-Sep-17 07:45:28

I understand how watching someone suffer with asbestos-related disease could make you anxious. I have worked for a local hospice in an area where this is more common than it should be, and it's not a nice illness. However, as everyone is saying, your anxiety is out of proportion to the threat, especially considering that if you live in any kind of urban centre, your exposure to air pollution is likely to be a far greater threat than asbestos. I don't mean this in a critical way, but you sound like you could maybe do with some help.

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