Low density asbestos fibre board (LDB) was commonly used in buildings as internal walls and ceiling linings until the 1980’s. Analysis of LDB samples has shown it contains up to 70 per cent asbestos fibres which are not bound in a cement matrix, as they are with asbestos cement sheeting. LDB is considerably softer and will start to disintegrate easily if disturbed.

It is hard to tell the difference between LDB and any other flat profile construction sheeting when it’s painted, decorated and/or in good condition. Asbestos registers often fail to distinguish the two. Furthermore, during LDB removal jobs, airborne fibre levels have been recorded that are higher than the Occupational Exposure Standard of 0.1 fibres/ml.

In 2009 Workplace Health and Safety Queensland released an information paper on LDB stating: “Due to the high percentage of asbestos fibres present in low density asbestos fibre board and the soft nature of the product, low density asbestos fibre board is regarded as a friable asbestos containing material. Friable asbestos containing material must only be removed by an ‘A’ class certificate holder.”

INTERNAL WALLS AND CEILING LININGS

Removal procedure

1

Safety First

Safety First

Once the extent of the removal area is known, all items should either be moved out of this area or covered with plastic sheeting 200 µm thick.

2

Create an enclosure that facilitates the smooth flow of air from the decontamination unit to the negative air units. Pay close attention to leaks through the floor and roof.

3

With the set-up of the enclosure and decontamination unit complete, asbestos can now be removed and disposed of.

4

Make sure that the building’s air-conditioning equipment has been isolated from the working area.

5

Keep checking the negative air unit and decontamination unit during asbestos removal to ensure correct operation. Air monitoring throughout the removal work must be conducted by a licensed assessor

6

Once finished but before re-entry into the work area, clearance monitoring by a licensed assessor is needed, who will then issue a clearance certificate.

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