Doubts over ‘wet’ asbestos remediation method

20 December 2011

A US federal report has raised concerns over the wet asbestos removal method that was trialled at a Fort Worth building in Texas with EPA approval in 2007. The report from the EPA Office of Inspector General says that workers and members of the public may have been exposed to carcinogenic fibres during the course of the work.

The report goes on to recommend that the EPA notify all the workers who took part in the work and all members of the public who were in the vicinity when the work was being carried of the potential exposure they may have experienced.

The wet removal method is intended to reduce cost and minimise the time required for asbestos abatement by soaking the asbestos with soapy or foamy water during removal to prevent the production of airborne asbestos fibres. However, according to the inspector general's report, settled-dust results from testing using the method at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas as well as results from the Fort Worth experiment show that there was in fact asbestos fibre release. The report states that video and photographic footage shows that government employees and contractors on the sites were not using personal protective equipment, which it says is a possible violation of OSHA asbestos protection requirements. The report goes on to say that the use of "unapproved methods threaten health and safety".

Latest News
Three electric machines on zero-emission jobsite
Machinery noise levels are said to be ten times lower than that of traditionally powered equipment
Devaluation of Egyptian pound hits Orascom’s revenue
The devaluation of the Egyptian pound has dented revenue at contractor Orascom, although this was partially offset by a strong performance in the US
British Steel wins multi-million contract for high-speed electric railway in Turkey
British Steel says that this will help create a lower-emission transport link between Turkey’s second-largest container port and inland cities