Asbestos the rules
Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring mineral fibres. Asbestos was used in the past as a building material due to its insulation and fire protection properties. The main risk associated with asbestos is the release of fibres from asbestos-containing-material into the air and the subsequent inhalation of these fibres by humans. Breathing in air containing asbestos fibres can lead to asbestos-related diseases. As long as asbestos is in good condition and there is no disturbance or damage to the asbestos-containing-material, it will not pose a risk to health as the fibres will not be released (Reference: HSA Website)
Under E.U. legislation, the placing on the market of asbestos and asbestos-containing products is prohibited, and you can no longer buy or re-use asbestos products in Ireland.
If asbestos-containing material is present in a building or structure, this does not necessarily mean that it must be removed. It may sometimes be a safer option to maintain the asbestos in place, rather than to remove or disturb the material, which could increase the risk of releasing asbestos fibres into the air.
Asbestos Removal / Disposal
Asbestos must always be removed before a building is demolished, to prevent the risk of fibres spreading and contaminating the surrounding area.
Please note that the EPA webpage suggests seeking expert advice by contacting companies listed in the Golden Pages, however it is important for members of the public to check these companies for proof of accreditation and competency and to check with the HSA regarding qualification; just picking a name from the telephone directory is not sufficient.
A) Always confirm that a waste contractor possesses the correct permit before engaging them to remove asbestos – you can also check with your local authority to ensure that a particular company has a valid Waste Collection Permit for transport of asbestos.
B) Please remember that it is an offence to hand over waste to an unauthorised waste collector.
The Local Authority’s role is in regard to the appropriate certificate for transport and disposal of the material i.e. the Waste Collection Permit. The Local Authority has no role in the deconstruction/removal of the material.
Health and Safety Authority Advice Line: 1890 289 389
Guidelines are provided on the EPA website: http://www.epa.ie/waste/hazardous/asbestos/
Note: This page is a guide only. It does not purport to provide, and should not be relied upon as, a legal interpretation of the Regulations. Laois County Council advises you to read the Regulations in full.