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Building Contaminants | Picture Data Base

Asbestos friable

Flange gaskets

Old flansch gasket with partly frayed edges.

Friable asbestos products and their priority of abatement are regulated by the German Asbestos Guidelines  (Asbestrichtlinie). Asbestos containing flansch gaskets are generally classified as having low priority (Dringlichkeitsstufe III). A reassessment of the material's condition is required every 5 years.  Any remedial work has to comply with H&S regulations i.e. "TGRS 519" (Section 16.3).

Old flansch gasket.

Removal prior to demolition of the building should observe operational instructions set by "BGI 664" (methods involving low level exposure by asbestos during demolition, clean-up and maintenance).

Old flansch gasket.

Flansch gasket.

Chimney Clean-Out Doors

Chimney Clean-Out Door.

Owing to heat resistant qualities, asbestos was often used in old buildings until 1982 to seal chimney clean-out doors. Asbestos containing cord can contain up to 100% asbestos.

Chimney Clean-Out Door.

Close-up of previous photo.

Chimney Clean-Out Door.

Asbestos cord seal on a chimney clean-out door. Asbestos cord should be removed and disposed of by an expert. Usually the Glove Bag method is the most appropriate method for occupied buildings.

Chimney Clean-Out Door.

Asbestos seal on a chimney clean-out door.

Rubbish chutes

Rubbish chute

Rubbish chutes  were frequently installed into blocks of flats. Asbestos cord seals were often used at the rubbish chute doors.

Rubbish chute

Close-up of previous photo.

Fire Dampers

Fire damper

Asbestos was used for in the construction of fire dampers until the 1980's.

Asbestos warning sign.

According to the "Asbestrichtlinie" there are three possible ways of remediating friable asbestos materials within interior spaces: by removal, coating and encasing. After completion coatings and encasements need to be indicated by this sign.

Fire damper

Fire dampers composing of asbestos containing parts are normally classified as "Dringlichkeitsstufe III" based on the "Asbestrichtlinie". This rating requires the dampers to be reassessed every 5 years. The presents of asbestos has to be indicated by the asbestos warning sign.

Fire damper

Fire damper

Fire Doors

Modern fire door.

Fire doors manufactured prior to 1991 may contain asbestos.

Modern fire door.

Fire door

Sign on a fire door from 1967. Based the the date of construction this fire door is likely to contain asbestos. Based on the "Asbestrichtlinie" fire doors containing asbestos are to be classed as "Dringlichkeitsstufe III" and require reassessment every 5 years.

 

Fire door

Sign attached to a fire resistant steel door (T-30). The sign indicates the date of manufacture, type of door and the approval number. Given that the door was made in the 90's this door is not likely to contain asbestos.

Fire door

Asbestos containing millboard seal within a double leaf fire resistant door.

Fire door

Friable asbestos was used in fire doors in Germany until the beginning of the 1980's. However, foreign made asbestos containing fire doors were still imported and installed up until 1991. Asbestos millboard is sometimes found at the keyhole and may be sampled by removing the lock and/or door handle plate.  The doors are generally regarded as being well sealed so that no emission to the environment can occur. Fire doors are normally situated at entrances between staircases and corridors as well as in fire compartment walls and at the entrance to boiler rooms. As opposed to fire doors smoke control doors are predominantly used to partition long corridors.

Fire door

Fire door with removed door handle plate. The seal within the keyhole and hole for the handle is thought to contain friable asbestos.

Fire door

Bent door handle plate of a fire door. The fibrous material within the keyhole is thought to contain asbestos.

Off-Peak Storage Heaters

 

 

Off-Peak Storage Heaters

Asbestos was used in the manufacture of off-peak storage heaters until the mid 1970's. After 1982 the use of asbestos in off-peak storage heaters was generally banned. Using the model number and date of manufacture shown on the units label it is possible to determine whether a heater contains asbestos. Off-peak storage heaters are normally quite heavy (approx. 300kg) and therefore may only be transported with proper equipment. For abatement asbestos containing heaters are best transported as a whole from the living space by a remedial contractor. Any opening of the heater should be avoided to prevent emission of asbestos particles. At the asbestos abatement contractor's grounds the heater may be opened using the Glove Bag method, which is described by "BGI 664 ".

Off-peak storage heater

Off-peak storage heater

Off-peak storage heater within a children's room. Children are especially vulnerable to asbestos due to their enhanced metabolism.

Load Bearing Boards and Cords

Load bearing asbestos board

Load bearing asbestos board between a concrete pillar and girder allows movement for thermal expansion.

Load bearing asbestos board

Picture of a load bearing asbestos board between a concrete pillar and girder. With advanced age the edges of the board begin to fray exposing its fibrous structure. Part of the load bearing board has been dislodged and is hanging loosely at the side of the pillar.

Load bearing asbestos board

Load bearing asbestos board between concrete girder and pillar in a park house.

Asbestos cord

Asbestos cord used as load bearing material between concrete girder and pillar. Friable asbestos products are assessed in Germany according to the "Asbestrichtlinie". Based on a set of criteria (such as of how frequently a space is used and the condition of the asbestos product) risk potential and the priority of abatement (Dringlichkeitsstufe) is determined.

Load bearing asbestos cord between concrete girder and pillar.

Asbestos cord

This load bearing asbestos cord between structural concrete elements has been coated to prevent any emission of asbestos particles (see next photo).

Asbestos cord

After mitigation measures friable asbestos containing materials have to be labelled. This picture shows coated friable asbestos material between concrete structural elements.

Fire Resistant Cladding and Fire Stoppers

Fire resistant cladding of piping and cables.

Fire safety products often contained asbestos (e.g. Promasbest, Asbestos Insulation Board). The cladding shown in this picture is free of asbestos (see next picture).

Fire resistant cladding of piping and cables.

This sign indicates that the cladding shown on the previous photo was installed in 1998. The date of manufacture is an important criterion for determining the existence of asbestos. In Germany asbestos was used in building materials from the end of the 1950's to the beginning of the 1990's.

Fire stoppers

Asbestos containing materials were once used as fire stoppers at cable penetrations. Today fire stoppers are free of asbestos and need to be labelled.

Pipe Insulation

Pipe Insulation

Pipe insulation composed of a diatomaceous material wrapped in plaster coated textile. The insulation material is pink and contains amphibole asbestos. It is very crumbly and there for can be classed as friable.

Pipe Insulation

Asbestos containing pipe insulation made of a diatomaceous material.

Textiles and Mats

Textile connecting two pieces of ventilation duct.

Based on the year of construction of the ventilation system this textile was thought to contain asbestos.

Millboards and Interior Cladding

Millboard

At this portfolio of buildings asbestos insulation board had been used to clad the back of attic trap doors (see next photo).

Millboard

This asbestos insulation board is disintegrating at the corners causing potential risk to the building occupants.

Millboard

Attic trap door clad with asbestos insulation board. The edges of the board are protected by strips of wood.

Millboard

Rear wall of an electric meter cabinet clad with asbestos insulation board.

Millboard

Close-up of previous photo.

Interior cladding

Asbestos containing insulated panel below a window (see next photo).

Interior cladding

Sample location of an asbestos containing insulation panel (see previous photo).

Thin Millboard

Thin millboard

Thin millboard used as insulation or fire protection underneath an interior window sill.

Thin millboard

Close-up of a of thin millboard sample (see previous photo). Asbestos millboard installed prior to the early 1990's can consist of up to 95% asbestos.

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