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Handling asbestos

Stand: 28.05.2024

Asbestos is a collective term for various naturally occurring, fibrous crystallized silicate minerals which, after processing, produce technically usable fibres of various lengths. The "mineral of a thousand possibilities" has great strength, is resistant to heat and acids and has excellent insulating properties. Due to these properties, asbestos was used very frequently and can still be found in older buildings. Various applications are shown in excerpts in the following table.

Examples of possible asbestos deposits

firmly bound asbestos products

  • Roof and façade panels (asbestos cement)
  • Water pipes, flower boxes (asbestos cement)
  • Floor coverings (Floor-Flex panels)
  • Brake and friction linings, seals
  • Joint sealant (windows, concrete)
  • tar paper

weakly bound asbestos products

  • Fire protection cladding, sprayed asbestos
  • PVC floor coverings (cushion vinyl coverings)
  • Adhesives for floor coverings, tiles, etc.
  • Thermal insulation materials for night storage heaters
  • Lightweight panels
  • Pipe flanges, seals

Health hazards due to asbestos

According to the Hazardous Substances Ordinance, asbestos is classified as a carcinogenic hazardous substance with a high hazard potential. Inhaled asbestos fibers endanger health, can cause scar tissue (pulmonary asbestosis) and lead to malignant tumors (lung cancer).

Demolition, renovation and maintenance work on materials containing asbestos

If building materials containing asbestos are suspected, an appropriate analysis must be carried out by a laboratory.

Classification of the absence of asbestos fibers in typical asbestos applications by visual inspection is excluded.

The Hazardous Substances Ordinance and the Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances (TRGS 519) apply to the dismantling and transportation of materials containing asbestos.

During demolition, renovation and maintenance work on components containing asbestos, it must always be ensured that the health of other persons is not endangered. The release or spread of asbestos fibers must be avoided as far as possible. Failure to do so may result not only in official orders to stop work, but also in criminal prosecution and claims for damages under private law.

Asbestos cement products

The City of Erlangen recommends that only specialist companies be commissioned with the renovation work. According to TRGS 519, remediation companies must provide proof of their specialist knowledge. TRGS 519 defines the state of the art for dust minimization and hazard prevention. This is also mandatory for private work.

Weakly bound asbestos products and floor coverings containing asbestos

Demolition, renovation and maintenance work may only be carried out by specialist companies that have the appropriate official approval.

Legal prohibitions when handling asbestos

  • Asbestos products must not be broken up, sawn or chipped. Dismantled asbestos products must not be thrown.
  • Work that leads to the removal of the surface of asbestos products is strictly prohibited. Components containing asbestos must never be cleaned with hard equipment such as high-pressure cleaners, wire brushes, hard bristle brushes or blasting machines. Activities such as grinding or drilling are not permitted.
  • In general, no cleaning or coating work may be carried out on asbestos cement roofs and wall cladding. This also applies if the coating has been removed from originally coated roofs, e.g. due to weather conditions.
  • No roofing, superstructure or elevation work may be carried out on asbestos cement roofs and wall claddings. The ban also includes the installation of photovoltaic and thermal solar systems on asbestos cement roofs.
  • Removed materials containing asbestos may not be reused or otherwise placed on the market. They must be disposed of. Any handling of materials containing asbestos is prohibited. In addition to use (e.g. as a cover for firewood, fixing for flower beds), this also includes giving away, selling and even storing asbestos products.

Both commercial enterprises and private individuals are covered by these bans. A violation is a criminal offense and can be punished with a prison sentence of up to five years or severe fines!

Regulations for demolition work on asbestos products

In accordance with TRGS 519, the following precautions must be taken by both specialist companies and private individuals:

  • The neighborhood should be informed of the work in good time.
  • The work site and the surrounding area must be adequately sealed off, e.g. with sheeting. It is recommended that warning signs or no trespassing signs are put up.
  • Ensure that all windows and doors in the vicinity of the work area are closed.
  • Suitable protective equipment should be worn.
  • Asbestos products must be sprayed with dust-binding agents before removal or dismantling; they must be kept damp at all times during the work.
  • Work should be carried out by hand wherever possible. If the use of machines is essential, only slow-running machines with extraction equipment may be used.
  • Any dust produced must be extracted at the point of origin, e.g. with an industrial vacuum cleaner approved for demolition, renovation and maintenance work. If machines are used during the work, extraction is essential. Surfaces of the substructure (e.g. battens) that have been contaminated by asbestos-containing dust must also be carefully cleaned by vacuuming with an approved industrial vacuum cleaner or by wiping with a damp cloth.
  • After working on roofs, the gutters must be cleaned and then rinsed. The rinsing water must be disposed of in the same way as waste water via the sewage system.
  • Removed materials must be kept damp and immediately packed dust-tight and disposed of.
  • The contracted specialist company may only begin dismantling and disposing of asbestos components after it has notified the Nuremberg Trade Supervisory Office (Government of Middle Franconia) at least seven days before starting the work.

Disposal of materials containing asbestos

All building materials containing asbestos are hazardous waste and must be removed and disposed of separately. If separation is not possible, all construction waste must be disposed of as hazardous waste containing asbestos.

If the demolition material contains even the smallest quantities of material containing asbestos, it must not be treated in recycling plants.

The provision for removal and transportation of waste containing asbestos must be carried out in dust-tight containers (big bags), which must be marked in accordance with the provisions of the Hazardous Substances Ordinance. Appropriate bags are available from the special purpose association (ZVA), at the Erlangen waste transfer station or at the landfill site. Temporary storage is not permitted.

Waste containing asbestos from the city of Erlangen is subject to mandatory disposal, i.e. it may only be disposed of at the Herzogenaurach landfill site. Small quantities are also accepted at the waste transfer station.

For commercial deliveries, proof of disposal is required, which can be obtained from the Zweckverband Abfallwirtschaft ER-ERH.

In the event of violations of these regulations, the police inspectorate of the city of Erlangen, telephone 09131 / 760-0 and the trade supervisory office in Nuremberg must be informed immediately.


Government of Middle Franconia

Trade Supervisory Office, Department 2 Roonstr. 20, 90429 Nuremberg; phone: 0911/928-0; e-mail: gewerbeaufsichtsamt@reg-mfr.bayern.de

Office for Environmental Protection and Energy Issues

Schuhstr. 40 91054 Erlangen; Telephone: 09131-862674 (waste and soil protection law); 09131-861635 (construction site waste); 09131-862182 (soil protection); 09131-861272 (immission control); 09131-861273 (water protection); 09131-861299 (species protection); e-mail: umweltamt@stadt.erlangen.de

Special purpose association for waste management

City of Erlangen District of Erlangen-Höchstadt; ZVA ER-ERH (public corporation); Office: Karl-Zucker-Str. 2 91052 Erlangen; Telephone: 09131-71 57-0; Fax: 09131-71 57-21; E-mail: info@zva-erlangen.de; Internet: www.zva-erlangen.de

Landfill Herzogenaurach

Zum Flughafen 101, 91074 Herzogenaurach Phone: 09131-715719 09132-61617; Internet: www.zva-erlangen.de Waste transfer station, Am Hafen 5a 91054 Erlangen; Phone: 09131-992600; Internet: www.zva-erlangen.de

Further information

Asbestos (bayern.de)

Materials containing asbestos; notification of activities - Government of Middle Franconia (bayern.de)