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All about asbestos diagnosis before construction

The recognition of asbestos-related occupational disease is one of the biggest victories of the workers’ unions. The health risks of asbestos use have been recognized since the 1890s. However, it took almost a century to succeed in imposing a ban on its use in several countries.

France banned it in 1997. The diseases caused by asbestos are serious and fatal, and the anxiety linked to being declared ill at any time is also compensated under the heading of anxiety.

A large body of case law has recognized the employer’s failure to fulfil his duty of safety. The employer runs the risk of a penal sanction for presumption of inexcusable fault. This explains the importance of an asbestos diagnosis before work.

How does an asbestos diagnosis before work take place?

The use of asbestos has been banned in France since 1997. Any building built before this date is likely to contain asbestos. If you are planning to renovate or transform your property, and if the property has a building permit issued prior to 1 July 1997, an Asbestos Diagnosis Before Work or ADBW is mandatory.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is highly toxic, its inhalation causes serious illnesses such as lung and larynx cancers, but also great anxiety. It is a mineral species that is very resistant, especially, to heat or even chemicals. It also has properties that make it a very effective electrical insulator.

Asbestos is highly toxic, its inhalation causes serious diseases such as lung and larynx cancers, but also great anxiety. Its resistant nature attracted the interest of industrialists. It was then used in many sectors of activity, and in a very important way in the building industry. It is used as a binder: glue, paint, jointing, mortar. Furthermore, it is also found in cement: asbestos cement.

What are the different types of asbestos diagnosis?

In addition to asbestos diagnosis before work, there are other types of asbestos diagnosis depending on the nature of the work to be undertaken.

ADBD: this is the Asbestos Diagnosis Before Destruction. This diagnosis is mandatory before any demolition project. Indeed, the destruction of a property leads to the release of asbestos and entails risks of inhalation by the workers and the neighbourhood.

DABS: this is the Diagnosis of Asbestos Before Sale. It is compulsory and the report of the diagnostician certified by an accredited body accompanies the sales agreement.

DAPA: this is the Diagnosis of Asbestos in private areas. The tenant has the right to ask this from the landlord at any time. The diagnosis is based on a list of materials to be detected.

ATF: this is the Asbestos Technical File which gathers the detection reports.

The definition of the Asbestos Diagnosis Before Work (ADBW)

This diagnosis is compulsory for any renovation or transformation work on buildings built before 1 July 1997. It consists of detecting the level of toxic minerals in the building. Indeed, the work to be carried out risks releasing the asbestos contained in the construction materials and generating illnesses for the occupants and the workers. Failure to comply with this obligation may result in penal sanctions.

How is the asbestos diagnosis carried out before work is carried out?

The diagnosis is carried out by firstly identifying the location, then taking samples or drilling. The service provider locates the asbestos materials. He determines its extent, the contaminated surface and its depth. Then, when he suspects the presence of asbestos, he can take a sample or a sounding of the material. These samples are sent to a COFRAC-approved laboratory for analysis.

If asbestos is detected, the client initiates a procedure to remove the asbestos. He calls in a professional asbestos remover. The asbestos removal procedure consists of dust removal, containment, removal, recovery of the asbestos and disposal of the waste. Particular attention is also paid to waste, as it is toxic.

Choosing the company to carry out the asbestos diagnosis before work

The choice of company is very important. Failure to comply with the regulations imposed by the INRS (National Institute for Research and Safety) can have serious consequences for the client.

The asbestos diagnosis before work is carried out must be done by a service provider such as Amiante Diagnostic who has an asbestos detection operator certificate with a mention. The service provider must also hold a valid certificate of competence. In addition, the service provider must justify that it will use high-performance materials and equipment not only to achieve good detection, but also to provide effective protection for its workers.

What is the price of an asbestos diagnosis before work?

The cost of an Asbestos Diagnosis Before Work depends on several factors: the duration of the diagnosis, the surface area to be diagnosed, the possession of professional insurance, the expertise of the diagnostician and the complexity of the materials and equipment he possesses. Therefore, it is not possible to know the cost of the ADBW without requesting a quote from the diagnostic company.

The diagnosis of the presence of asbestos in one’s property is a matter of public health concern. Failure to comply with the standards in force exposes the owner of the property concerned or the project manager to heavy penal sanctions. These standards require the diagnostician to have a certain number of approvals, otherwise the Caisse Régionale d’Assurance Maladie (Regional Health Insurance Fund) may oppose the validation of the opening of the site.