Can asbestos be washed out of clothes?

By | September 17, 2013

Asbestos is a harmful substance that has caused illnesses in the lungs that lead to deaths of thousands who were exposed to it. It can damage the human body once it is inhaled in the system. The danger is that asbestos can be everywhere, and particles remain suspended in the air.

People who are affected by asbestos are those who work in manufacturing, processing and mining sites. These particles can cling into your clothing and there is a huge risk that you might inhale these particles and even carry them into your homes.

Secondary exposure to asbestos can have its prolonged effects on health; people who work directly with asbestos materials are not the only ones who are at risk, those who get into contact with people who carry asbestos particles are not exempted from acquiring the asbestos themselves.

In industries, workers are advised to wear protective clothing that will keep the asbestos off of their skin and prevent them from inhaling it. However, it is inevitable that even if we observe these measures, we still can contract asbestos as we work or as we use products that contain it.

Clothing that are exposed to asbestos should be kept and cleaned properly. So how do you remove asbestos from your clothes?

Getting Rid Of Asbestos On Clothing

When removing asbestos off of your clothes, avoid dusting it off, as it will only spread the particles. There’s a possibility that you could inhale it too. Do not shake it off as well for it will only create a cloud of asbestos suspended in midair.
Asbestos contaminated clothing can be dangerous to handle. Do not attempt to clean it yourself. Proper procedures and precautions are being observed once there is an asbestos contamination.

Do not clean your clothes with suspected asbestos in the premises of your homes. The experts and those who have adequate knowledge of the substance should handle cleaning. The place should also be secured to prevent further contamination.

To conduct the cleaning process, it is important to inform the person in charge about the contamination. The area must be secured and it must be seen to it that there is a control in the release of the fibers. The conventional washing machine can be used, provided that it is not used for other clothing. It is highly preferred that the room must be under negative pressure to minimize the release or airborne asbestos. Preventive measures should also be available to assess the risks involved. There should also be measures in cleaning up the spills.

It is advisable the asbestos-contaminated clothes should be disposed of properly especially if the precautionary measures in washing it off cannot be observed properly. To dispose clothing with asbestos, thoroughly wet it and place them in impermeable containers. The clothing should not be allowed to dry until it is brought to the laundering facility. The container should be labeled to indicate the presence of asbestos. Once in the laundry facility, observe the measures stated earlier to secure the area from contamination as well. The person handling the laundry should also wear proper clothing.

Once the entire process is done, empty container bags used in storing the asbestos-contaminated clothing should be disposed properly.

The water used to remove asbestos from the clothing should also pass through filtration process to screen out the asbestos and prevent it from contaminating bodies of water and its surroundings.

Asbestos is a dangerous substance when not educated properly about its effects in the human body. There is a certain limit that our body can tolerate once exposed to asbestos. It is important that once you know about the presence of asbestos in your work, in your workplace and in your home, you also know the proper measures to take to alleviate its effects and protect yourself and your family from the harm that it can cause.

If you are uncertain about handling asbestos-contaminated clothing and other products, it would be safer to ask for help or assistance instead of doing things yourself under blind assumptions and suffer the consequences. There are always things that you could refer to when you are unsure, and as what they would say, prevention is better than cure.

Do not expose yourself to the perils of asbestos, be aware and do not be neglectful. If you can, stay away as much as possible from anything that contains asbestos.

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