Asbestos

The term „asbestos“ derives from ancient Greek and means „everlasting”. 
Asbestos substances are naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals. The mineralogical classification of the asbestos substances, based on their fibre structure, consists of a division into asbestos of the serpentine (white) and of the amphibole class (blue).

In the sixties and seventies asbestos was celebrated as a „miracle fibre”. It is heat-resistant up to approx. 1000 °C, very resistant to weak acids as well as many chemicals and possesses a higher weight-specific tensile strength than steel wire. It is very durable and well miscible with cement.

With these properties alone, asbestos established itself in the building industry. Due to the different fibre properties asbestos is also in the field of harmful substances clearance divided into two groups. Weakly bound asbestos products such as Baufatherm, Neptunit and Sokalit can be found in fire dampers, sealing cords, sprayed asbestos insulations and cardboard.

Firmly bound asbestos cement products such as Baufanit and Neptunit are used in corrugated asbestos cement sheets, asbestos cement pipes, partitions and boards of every possible shape.

Due to their by now proven health hazard effects their use has been prohibited since 1990 in many countries including the entire EU.

The significant factor when dealing with asbestos and materials containing asbestos is the amount of asbestos fibres released. Fibres with a length of > 5 µm and a diameter of < 3 µm can enter the lungs and, depending on the location in which they settle, can cause various diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, which with different latency periods (approx. 20 years)  and depending on the size of the affected areas can cause complaints ranging from breathing difficulties to death.

Depending on the work performed and the type of asbestos present the necessary protective measures range from simple respirator masks to the complete sealing-off of the areas to be cleared including negative pressurisation and full-body protective suits. The release of the fibres is to be kept as minimal as possible in any case.

Due to the classification of asbestos as  *hazardous waste* the disposal of asbestos and substances containing asbestos has to be made via the agency for hazardous wastes “Sonderabfallbehörde Berlin Brandenburg” (SBB) and accounted for in detail via the electronic waste-records procedure (ENV).

Possible waste code numbers (AVV no.) are:

17 06 01*Insulating material containing asbestos
17 06 05*Building materials containing asbestos