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dealing with asbestos


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Yes really, culture rather than renovation!

While signing the compromis, it was brought to our attention that the abri-voiture has an asbestos roof.   The estate agent quite confidently assured us that asbestos isn't a problem - when you're working with it, you just have to be careful not to breathe in. 

Anyway, Monsieur Vendor promised to replace it with something non-toxic, which he has.  Being a sensible chap, he got professionals in to remove the asbestos.  My OH asked him how they'd dealt with it, did they wear masks or anything, M Vendor just laughed and said "bof, what do YOU think!".   His opinion of them was not high.

I can only think that French asbestos is different from other asbestos.   Maybe I should ask around a bit more, might get another one for the "pourtant c'est vrai" list. 

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You want to see the ongoing court cases here regarding the workers from the arsenal at Brest who have died from asbestos related diseases and how that is being dragged out. Incidentally the removal of an asbestos tiled floor from our village school canteen which isn't very big cost the commune over 30000Ff last year and I saw the bill for it. What about all the carry on the government were going to impose on car owners here a couple of years ago when they wanted to ban vehicles over 4 years old from being sold and they had to be scrapped because mechanics were complaining about asbestos in brake linings etc. Our local garage man just laughed and said it was a crazy idea, no one can afford to buy a brand new car every four years and that it was a conspiracy by the government and car manaufacturers.
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I am now a bit confused.  The report that I was given at the time of the purchase said that the roofing of the summer kitchen, the storage and the chicken coup was asbestos .  The agents assured me that it was "blue asbestos" - whatever that is - and it was no problem unless I decided to knock the building down and there was no necessity to require the vendor to have it removed.  If it has any connection with  brake linings I have a problem as it has definitely been there for more than 4 years. 

I think I had better ask around as I had intended some changes with those outbuildings.

Coral - soon to be in Ariege

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Blue asbestos (or crocidolite) is the most harmful!

The danger from asbestos is from inhaling the fibres.  It is safe to leave in situ provided it is not disturbed (ie fibres released) by accidental damage.  The likelihood of damage depends on the type of material  (in asbestos cement the asbestos is  fairly well bound by the cement; lower density boards and particularly sprayed flock asbestos are more susceptible to damage).

There is a lot of information on the Health and Safety Executives site (aimed at the work place but still very useful).


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