Asbestos cement was used in large quantities in roof panels (‘Eternit’) and facade cladding. Where it has been used in buildings as interior panels or to insulate radiators and heating pipes, expensive renovations often have to be carried out by specialized companies. It is less well known that old flower boxes and electrical appliances such as toasters, hair dryers, irons, fan heaters, electric blankets, hot plates or slide projectors can also contain asbestos.
Why is asbestos harmful to health ?
The danger of asbestos is related to the pointed shape of the fibres. When asbestos fibres are released into the air and inhaled, they penetrate the lungs and settle there. Since they cannot be broken down by the body, they destroy the sensitive tissue over time. Larger quantities can then trigger so-called asbestosis, which is associated with breathing difficulties. But even small amounts can be dangerous. They can cause malignant cancer tumors in the lungs, peritoneum and pleura or in the gastrointestinal tract.
What can individuals do ?
Old roof and facade panels, cladding and window boxes made of grey, thin concrete most likely contain asbestos. Therefore, handle the material carefully and make sure that nothing breaks. Moistening the material protects against possible dust development. Small quantities are best packed in plastic bags and brought to the SDK fir Bierger.
Under no circumstances should you remove panels or cladding yourself. Leave the removal and disposal to a qualified craftsman. In companies with the SuperDrecksKëscht® fir Betriber quality label, you can be sure that not only the removal is done properly, but also the disposal. Incidentally, the disposal costs are far lower than is often assumed.
Old electrical appliances that may contain asbestos can be taken to your Resources Center or ask your specialist electrical company if they can take the appliance back. Again, businesses with the SuperDrecksKëscht® fir Betriber quality label guarantee proper disposal.
What happens to asbestos cement ?
Waste containing asbestos can be deposited tightly packed in an industrial waste landfill, as there is only a danger if fibres are released into the air. Waste containing asbestos from Luxembourg goes to landfills approved for this purpose in neighbouring countries.