Brian's House Building Blog

Deal with asbestos in your soil the right way

by Peyton Sanders

Everyone knows that coming into contact with asbestos poses serious health risks. Don't run the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma or asbestosis. If you suspect you have asbestos in your building, you should not touch it; arrange for its removal by qualified professionals. Taking asbestos out of buildings has been considered best practice for a long time, but did you know that there are other ways that you could unwittingly be coming into contact with asbestos?

Asbestos in the soil?

A lot of people do not realise that asbestos is often found in the soil on brownfield sites that are being redeveloped. If you are involved in a building project on a brownfield site, you should know that conducting a soil scan for asbestos is now routine.

Asbestos gets into the ground as a result of prior activity on the land. This could be a result of poor asbestos removal from a since-demolished building or of lagged pipes and ducts being left in the land after demolition. Don't make the mistake of assuming that no building has occupied the site in the past or that there is no possible asbestos risk. Asbestos has been regularly found in sites used for landfills and even as a result of illegal dumping.

How can asbestos in the soil be removed?

Asbestos soil removal can only take place once the level of contamination has been accurately determined and this will require an asbestos surveyor to examine the site in detail and look at possible methods of asbestos removal as well as ways that site remediation could be carried out. The surveyor will be able to advise on the most suitable asbestos soil removal technique for your situation.

Retain or remove?

While asbestos soil removal is common it is not always the most effective solution. There are times when an asbestos surveyor will visit your site and determine that the best option is to retain the soil on the site. Before coming to that decision, the surveyor will have to consider many factors, including the type of asbestos material present in the soil, the way the land will be used and the the type of soil on the site. Whatever decisions the asbestos surveyor makes will need to be discussed with all interested parties to ensure that everyone is aware of the correct procedures for dealing with the asbestos in the soil.

If you suspect asbestos is present on your site then arrange for a visit from a qualified professional today.