What can I wear to safely handle asbestos?

Asbestos is made from a set of six naturally occurring minerals and most commonly known for it’s use in buildings for insulating, fire resistance and sound absorption. Large-scale mining of asbestos occurred at the end of the 19th century and 20th century until major health risks for those dealing with the material were found. Asbestos trade has since been heavily restricted or banned in an increasing number of countries but still remains to be found in households and workplaces. Removal and handling of remaining asbestos therefore needs to have users take all possible precautions taken to prevent contamination.



Ordinary dust masks are not effective in preventing the inhalation of asbestos fibres. Masks are classified by their filtering efficiency and maximum total inward leakage performance; FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3. To handle asbestos you need class FFP3, the 3M 8833 FFP3 Soft Seal Valved Dust/Mist Respirators comply to this standard. This disposable mask offers high levels of protection against fine dusts and has a soft inner face-seal ring to provide a secure face fit and increase wearer comfort. For a reusable mask, the 3M 7500 half mask can be used can be used with the 3M 6035 P3R filters – care must be taken to thoroughly clean the mask after use.


We have a coverall quick guide on our website to make it easy to choose which are suitable for particular applications. Cotton coveralls hold dust and need specialist laundering when used for asbestos cleaning, so disposable coveralls are more suitable with Type 5 certification. For asbestos removal we recommend the 3M 4565 coveralls which are designed to offer a barrier to the hazardous particles.


To prevent the dust settling in footwear, overshoes or overboots should be used. Depending on the activity, protective disposable gloves may be required if there is significant amounts of asbestos fibres present.

For more information on the PPE requirements for handling Asbestos or more information on protective wear in general please get in contact with our technical team on 01954233120, or fill in the form below.

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