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Safety Considerations for Asbestos Used in Boilers

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As a reputable boiler installation company in London, Barnet, MML Plumbing understands the importance of safety when it comes to asbestos which is used in boilers. Asbestos insulation, once commonly employed for its heat-resistant properties, poses serious asbestos-related illnesses to both gas engineers and homeowners if not handled properly. With potential exposure to asbestos often leading to severe respiratory diseases (when the asbestos dust breeds in), such as lung cancer and mesothelioma, it is crucial to prioritize safety measures and take proactive steps to identify and address harmful materials during boiler installations. By adhering to strict safety protocols and engaging professional surveyors and removal experts, MML Plumbing ensures that its boiler installation services are not only efficient but also safeguard the health and well-being of all involved parties.

About Asbestos Insulation

The insulation was once commonly used in boilers and other heating systems due to its excellent heat-resistant properties. However, it was later discovered that asbestos poses a higher risk of severe health problems when its microscopic fibres are inhaled including asbestosis. MML Plumbing gas engineers must be aware of the potential dangers of asbestos and take appropriate safety measures when dealing with an older boiler.

Asbestos Boiler Insulation

Up until the 1980s, asbestos was used in boilers, so any boiler made before 1984 could have asbestos. But not every boiler from this time will have asbestos in it. As early as the 1970s, some companies, like Hamworthy, stopped using the materials in their boilers.

Asbestos can be found in various components of a boiler, and building materials such as gaskets, seals, and pipe insulation.

Manufacturers Who Made Boilers with Asbestos

  • Baxi boilers: Before 1984
  • Bosch boilers: Before 1984
  • Ideal boilers: Before 1984
  • Vaillant boilers: Before 1984
  • Worcester boilers: Before 1984
  • Caradon boilers: Before 1984
  • Eccotemp boilers: Before 1984
  • Harwood boilers: Before 1984
  • Merlin boilers: Before 1984

Testing the Asbestos in Any Property in the UK

Before working on boiler installations or any other construction or renovation project it is vital to determine whether the material is present. Engaging a professional surveyor to conduct a thorough inspection is crucial. They will take samples and send them for laboratory testing to confirm the presence of the material. This step is critical to ensure the safety of both engineers and occupants.

Dangers for Gas Engineers Working with Asbestos

Gas engineering professionals face significant risks when working with harmful materials. Disturbing or improper handling of the material can release harmful fibres into the air, leading to potential inhalation. Prolonged exposure to the microscopic fibres can cause serious respiratory diseases, including lung cancer (asbestosis) and mesothelioma. Proper training and safety protocols are essential for gas engineers to protect themselves during any boiler work.

Symptoms of Asbestos Exposure

Recognizing the symptoms of asbestos exposure is essential for both gas engineers and homeowners. Shortness of breath, persistent coughing, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing are common signs of being exposed to asbestos and dust-related diseases. If anyone experiences these symptoms after working with the material, need to seek immediate medical attention.

Boiler Asbestos Survey

When conducting boiler installations an asbestos survey is a prudent step. This survey will assess the microscopic fibre materials in the boiler and its surrounding components. If the hazardous material is detected, appropriate safety measures, such as containment or removal, will be required before installation work can proceed.

Asbestos Types

Asbestos exists in various forms, and it’s essential to understand their differences for proper handling.

White or Chrysotile

Chrysotile is the most common form of asbestos concrete and is widely used in boilers. It has curly fibres, making it more flexible.

Brown or Amosite

This material was commonly used in boiler insulation products and the fibers can be found in some old fireplaces. It has straight fibres and is particularly hazardous when disturbed.

Blue or Crocidolite

This is the most dangerous type and is rarely found in boilers. It has fragile fibres that are easily inhaled, causing severe health problems.

Cost of Removing a Boiler Which Contains Asbestos

The cost of removing a former boiler’s stove that contains asbestos can vary based on factors such as the boiler’s size, and the complexity of the removal process. The work always be performed by licensed professionals to ensure safe disposal. The total cost would be around £250-£400

Asbestos Boiler Flue Removal Cost

In addition to exposure to asbestos in the boiler itself may be present in the flue system. The cost of removing the flue will depend on its location and accessibility. The cost for the flue removal is £250.

Asbestos in Boilers Should Be Dealt With Immediately

If it is found in a boiler during an installation or renovation project, it must be addressed immediately. Disturbing containing materials can release fibres into the air, posing a significant health risk.

Compensation for Boiler Workers Exposed to Asbestos

Gas engineers and boiler workers who have been exposed to asbestos on the job (when they manufactured boilers) may be entitled to compensation for any resulting health issues. Asbestosis diseases can take years to first develop symptoms, and affected workers may seek legal recourse for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

What to Do If You Find Asbestos in the Boiler Before the Installation?

If it is discovered in the boiler before a new installation, it is crucial to halt any work immediately. Engage a licensed asbestos removal company to safely remove or encapsulate the asbestos. Only after complete asbestos removal should the installation proceed, ensuring the safety of boiler workers and everyone involved.

In conclusion, safety is of utmost importance when dealing with hazardous materials in boilers. As a boiler installation company we follow proper safety procedures, conduct surveys, and engage licensed professionals for asbestos removal are essential steps to protect both our engineers and customers.

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