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Decontamination after asbestos removal

After asbestos removal, the work area must be decontaminated to remove all asbestos fibres and protect everyone’s health. It is important to minimise dust and stop that dust from spreading in the air. 

SafeWork NSW recently released a series of videos to keep tradies and anyone doing DIY home renovations safe when managing asbestos.  This video shows how to decontaminate after removing asbestos.   

Before decontaminating the asbestos removal work area 

  • Prepare:

    • wet wipes or rags

    •  plastic or plastic waste bags at least 200 microns thick 

    • duct tape

    • a pen. 

  • Clearly label the asbestos waste bags before you start the decontamination. The label should read: DANGER: ASBESTOS WASTE. 

You can find 200 micron thick plastic where you get your PPE. 

Remove dust in the work area

  • Use a wet wipe or rag to clean any dust or debris on the drop sheet. 

  • Fold rags to use a clean surface, but don’t scrunch them. 

  • Use a new wet wipe or rag to remove dust from your disposable coveralls and any other PPE and tools used during removal. 

  • Don’t rinse rags and re-use them. Once they have been used, throw them away. 

Remove the drop sheets

  • Wrap plastic drop sheets by folding each sheet in on itself so no asbestos is on the outside.  

  • Wrap the wet wipes or rags used for the first part of the decontamination in the drop sheet. 

  • Seal the wrapped plastic sheets with duct tape and put into a labelled asbestos waste bag.

Remove your PPE

Keep your face mask on while you remove the rest of your PPE. 

  • Remove coveralls by rolling inside out from the top down. Put your coveralls in a labelled asbestos waste bag or plastic drop sheet. 

  • Remove your shoe covers and clean your gumboots with a wet wipe. Place shoe covers and wet wipes in the waste bag. 

  • Remove your face mask and put it in the waste bag.  

  • Use a wet wipe or wet rag to wipe down the outside of the asbestos waste bags (or drop sheets). Put the wet wipes you used inside the bag.  

  • Seal the waste bag or drop sheets securely with duct tape and label any waste as DANGER: ASBESTOS WASTE. 

  • Wash your hands, nails and face thoroughly with soapy water. 

What do I do with the asbestos waste? 

Used PPE is contaminated asbestos waste. 

You must take asbestos waste to a licensed landfill. Check before you go that they can accept the asbestos waste. 

Disposal of asbestos waste in NSW

You must take asbestos waste and contaminated materials, like used PPE, to a licensed landfill.
Professional removalists wrapping and sealing asbestos waste in plastic sheets.