The remediation of asbestos-contaminated soil is an activity best left for a qualified and licensed asbestos specialist. However, it's not mandatory for you to hire an asbestos specialist if you feel you're up to the task.
This article discusses three things you'll need should you choose to undertake the remediation of asbestos-contaminated soil in your individual capacity.
A Low-Pressure Water Jet
Your main concern when undergoing asbestos soil removal should be to prevent the release of asbestos fibres into the atmosphere as much as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that the contaminated soil is sufficiently wet throughout the remediation process.
This means that you'll have to apply a jet of water on the contaminated soil before you can safely handle such soil. However, you should strive to apply the water jet at the lowest possible pressure. A high-pressure water jet is likely to cut through asbestos-containing materials in the contaminated soil, thereby encouraging the release of asbestos fibres into the atmosphere. Water from a low-pressure jet might take longer to reach asbestos-containing materials buried deep in the soil. The trade-off is that the remediation exercise is likely to be less hazardous.
Personal Protective Equipment
In as much as the low-pressure water jet helps to prevent the release of asbestos fibres, you need to protect yourself from fibres that may already have been released into the air prior to the remediation exercise. Also, small quantities of asbestos may still be released into the air even with the water jet.
Respirators are preferred over ordinary gas marks when handling contaminated soil because they're designed with filters that often lack in ordinary gas masks. For this reason, respirators are more effective at preventing the inhalation of asbestos fibres.
You'll also need a disposable coverall for the remediation process. It's likely that asbestos fibres will get lodged on the coverall and disposing it as asbestos waste after the remediation guarantees that you won't transfer the lodged fibres to a non-contaminated area.
A Lockable Skip Bin
You'll need an asbestos-only skip bin to transport the contaminated soil to a hazardous waste management facility.
In order to prevent asbestos fibres from being released into the air during transportation, you should insist that the equipment rental agency delivers a skip bin that has a lockable lid. This should keep wayward asbestos fibres inside the bin until you get to the waste management facility.