The best thing to do with material that contains asbestos is to leave it alone if it is in good condition. If you are not sure, you can get it inspected. If removal is the best option, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends having a qualified, state-licensed contractor do the work. Asbestos removal is dangerous work. Therefore, safety is a top priority.
Supplies needed for asbestos removal depend upon the scope of the work, but there are several common elements.
Build an Enclosure
Build a containment area in order to prevent asbestos fibers from escaping into other parts of the house or building. Cover and seal all surfaces that you want to keep clean and asbestos-free, including the floors. Use duct tape and rolls of thick plastic sheeting.
You will need a special entrance and exit to keep asbestos fibers inside while workers move in and out of the enclosure.
Have a fire extinguisher handy because plastic sheeting is flammable.
Larger projects may require the use of a fan with a HEPA air filter attached to the containment.
Put up signage, cautioning people to stay away from the area while work is in progress.
Personal Protection Equipment
All workers will need protective clothing and equipment to keep the fibers off hair and clothes, to avoid inhalation of asbestos fibers and to keep asbestos confined to the work area.
Proper respirators with HEPA filters should be worn, as well as Tyvek protective coveralls and rubber boots. The EPA also recommends eye protection and gloves.
Standard demolition hand tools, such as knives and crowbars, are used to remove asbestos. Workers use the tools to cut away and remove asbestos-containing material such as floor tiles, pipe insulation and popcorn ceilings. Electrical power tools are usually not used because of the dust they produce and the potential shock hazard they pose. The goal is to produce as little dust as possible. Consider using water sprayers to minimize dust.
Use thick plastic bags to deposit the asbestos waste. Wipe down all the tools with a wet rag, and then dispose of the rag. Double-bag all the asbestos waste, and seal the bag with duct tape. Clean or dispose of your clothing, and dispose of the cleaning rags. Workers, for personal cleanup, use specially contained showers.
Dispose of asbestos may only at an approved landfill that accepts asbestos waste. Check with your state regulatory agency for more information.