Pragmatic Guidance for Emergency Repairs of Structures that May Contain Asbestos in Ukraine

Kit Miyamoto, Ken Takahashi, David Hodgkin, Pavlo Pokhalchuk, Kostiantyn Chernenko, Mark Broughton, Giulia Jole Sechi

Research output: Book/ReportOther output


The Law of Ukraine that prohibits the use of asbestos will come into force in October 2023. Meanwhile, Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) products are extremely common, as Ukraine has been one of the largest consumers after the separation from the Soviet Union and prior to 1991 as a part of the Soviet Union. Due to the current active conflict, the public and workers are at tremendous health risk, as the asbestos contained in the damaged built environment poses a lethal threat. This manual is designed to provide practical advice to the Ukrainian construction actors that are exposed to ACM. The targeted stakeholders are practitioners, trades people and the public that encounter asbestos during the buildings’ repair activities. The scope is to minimize health risk during asbestos removal procedures and propose mitigation strategies pursuable in war circumstances. We herein focus on non-friable asbestos, which represents the majority of asbestos found in Ukraine (e.g. fiber reinforced cement roof sheeting and pipes). Indications on how to seal in place friable asbestos are also outlined, as the strictest measures necessary to deal with the loose form of asbestos are beyond the scope of this manual. When encapsulated in another material, asbestos fibers are less dangerous. Hence, the first recommendation is to avoid doing anything that affects the integrity of the ACM and releases fibers in the air. Health risks commonly result from the inhalation of asbestos fibers mostly among workers who are directly exposed from handling ACM and, less frequently, among those who are exposed to environmental contamination. The latter includes households where asbestos fibers are brought home as contaminants of clothes or on body surfaces of workers who are heavily exposed. The first layer of defense is to minimize the release of contaminated fibers in the air through constant water misting of the ACM. The second layer of defense is adequate PPE: various options are herein presented in function of the local availability. These guidelines are rooted in the current context in Ukraine, which poses considerable challenges. The active conflict affects the work on the field, the availability of adequate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and tools, the procurement of specialized asbestos removal companies, and the creation of compliant and authorized asbestos landfill sites. The goal is to support the local communities in the reconstruction, raising the awareness on the seriousness of asbestos-related diseases and presenting viable and potentially life-saving practices.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherMiyamoto International
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


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