Asbestos “cover up” job

I’m repairing a 25+ years old (probably “ancient”) espresso machine, that's still in fairly decent shape. Well, apart from the insulation on the boiler. The lagging material is most likely asbestos, and it is flaking. So far, not good.
Removing the boiler from the machine is likely to do more harm than good, so I think my best option is a “cover up” job. That is, encapsulating the asbestos with some material, to stop the flaking & leave none of the asbestos exposed. What I’m thinking of is using a high temperature type of tape, or maybe a resin, or whatever polymer, that can be easily applied “in situ”, using a simple brush, or something. Using fiberglass, or carbon fiber to reinforce the polymer might be a possibility.
Question is, what would be the material of choice for me? The normal operating range of the boiler is around 90 C to 120 C (195 F to 250 F). The material I’m looking for should easily be able to cope with that, but, to keep a decent safety range, I would prefer to opt for a material that can withstand much higher temps – maybe up to 200 C (400 F).
Needless to say, the stuff should be waterproof. Since this is an espresso machine, the material will be sitting in a fairly humid environment & might even have water spilled on it. Lastly, I’m sort of on a budget, so what I need is something that’s relatively inexpensive & easily available.
I’m hoping to get your advice on the sort of material that I could use. Of course, if you can recommend other possible options for dealing with the asbestos issue that I’m overlooking, please do inform me.
Thanks,
HV
DIY-challenged espressophile from the Netherlands
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Can you tell me please, where this machine is sited so I never ever go near it? Thank you.
Also how do I identify old espresso machines?
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Did you know that the potential risks from asbestos were known to the designers of the Titanic? They knew that the life expectancy of the people who cladded the boilers with it was not very good. They continued in this contempt for human life for decades before any major move was made against its use in the 1970's.
Ignorance may be a reasonable excuse in a court of law but it is my impression God takes a dim view of it. You play with your health at your own risk but you play with others' at theirs.
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>

Its like smoking! Not in their interests to tell you - until it gets too expensive for them to continue.
When I was in school in the 1970's we used asbestos fire resistant mats under bunson burners in science classes.
The reason asbestos has become such a legislated no no ( unlike smoking) is that someone realised they could make more money out of forcing people to have the stuff removed than they could out of using it in the first place. Cynical but true.
Having said that, there is hardly anything in life that is not a risk in some way , especially in the world of work.
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wrote:

They were 90% cement and safe under almost all circumstances except machining with power tools, whence some common sense was required.

No, I'm as cynical as anyone but the reason the problem got addressed was that in the worst areas the problem was 100,000% worse than the problem you describe. Such as around the Turner and Newall's factory in Leeds (2 miles away from here) right in the midst of 100's of terraced houses, where asbestos used to gather 2" deep under the eaves of houses, visible white asbestos used to settle out daily on window sills and polished furniture, and puff-balls of white asbestos used to blow about in the street with kids playing with them.

Kids? Asbestos? Houses? Streets? Work?
DG
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derek wrote:

Precisely, and that is the levels of concentration where statistically meaningful death rates were impossible to ignore.
Lilewise hatters and mercury, and long term lead exposure.
Now we have autistic hyperactive kids and it will take another 30 years before they ban pot noodles or fizzy drinks or what ever it is they are being sold that is turning them all into IMMs.
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The hard sheet ones may have been, but the soft powdery asbestos cloth ones werent.
Regards, NT
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snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk (N. Thornton) wrote in message

Go to Dungeness in Kent and look at Derek Jarman's cottage and all the other Fisherman's shacks. Guess what they are made of? However the locals seem to be fit enough. It is only dangerous if cut and you get fibres HTH Phil
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Phil wrote:

Save your breath. You are probably talking to someone who thinks that 'natural' means 'good' not realising that both asbestos houyse and atopm bombs are made of throughly natural materials. And what can be more organic and natural than cancer?

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Its funny what people believe isnt it. The most natural thing of all is death. It is human-made (ie artificial) things that have caused most of us to be alive today.
Regards, NT
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When I was ten I used to help put up 'asbestos' farm buildings, and can remember standing underneath the steel frame while said sheets were having their corners cut off and it was 'snowing' all over me. Hasn't me any harm at all.
PS how many people noticed that milestone day last year when the EU forced 80 well-known gardening products off the shelves even though they had MAFF licences. And from 1st Jan 2004 it is illegal to have any of these in your shed. Believe it or not it is now illegal to use Jeyes fluid for killing moss and slime because the manufacturers have not 'tested it'. Seen a Vapona strip recently ?? - illegal. The world is getting hotter but the EU don't want us to wage war on the bugs. They'll be banning mothballs next - if they haven't already.
--
Andrew

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There were actually cigarettes made with asbestos in them, anyway these companies have the advantage that they are selling an addictive drug.
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continued
too
I reckon that there is mass 'cover up' in all areas on the asbestos issue. For example, a local educational establishment demolished a huge building a few years back because "it was old, out of date, no longer suitable". There was no mention of the asbestos used in its construction as the reason it was condemned - to avoid claims from past students/visitors? This high rise, built less than 40 years ago, was carefully cloaked in plastic throughout the demolition. It was immediately replaced by a similar building............... . Another local education centre is now talking of demolishing a large modern utility building "to allow housing development that will fund expansion elsewhere". Again no mention of the extensive asbestos problem throughout the edifice. B.
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BAH wrote:

Thats quite right of course. Many people are reluctant to be burned at the stake as witches. Even when completely innocent.
Asbestos is pretty harmless stuff. Its cerainly a lot safer than a bunch of ignoramuses in a mob yelling 'asbestos'...
Did you know that if America were discovered today, potatoes would have to at the least carry a giovernment health warning, if not be banned entirely?
Sadly the only way you can discover the real situation is to actually learn a bit of science yourself, so you can separate fact from fiction and misdirection from ignorance.
However, the same people that scream "ASBESTOS! RUN!" are also complaining bitterly that 'There Chill-DRUN Karnt Kope wiv MAFFS and Are feeling deescrimminayted aginst, So thee GUVVERMENT must DOO sUMMINK abart it, and make MAFFS exams ease-yer." And the net result you have a country of ill educated peasants run by a bunch of second rate con-men slowly sinking back into the Feudal system.
All it takes is for a nasty little peasant who ius slightly smnaerter than teh rest to whisper about 'THEM' doing something nasty to 'US' and get himself voted in on a wave of ignorance and resentment against those who actually CAN do 'MAFFS' ...and welcome to 1984, 2004, and a brave new world...

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On Fri, 12 Dec 2003 02:13:24 +0100, HV

Fire cement? Bought in tins (Pyruma is one brand name I think) from any plumbers merchant or large DIY store. Cheap, well within the temperature range, waterproof and will adhere to the substrate well. It is moulded on as a paste rather than brushed on.

You mentioned flaking - if the insulation is breaking up in flakes it may be mica or vermiculite. The only asbestos insulation used in coffee machines since the early 1960's (and probably well before) would have been white asbestos probably in fabric or string form. This will break up into thick dust like particles if rubbed but doesn't flake. Both Mica and Vermiculite have a very obvious plate structure and shed translucent flakes if damaged.
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On Fri, 12 Dec 2003 17:01:54 +0100, HV

Fire cement should work - indeed the lagging looks as if it might have been a fire cement and possibly Chrysotile (white asbestos) mix. You could wrap it in fibreglass tape which you have smeared with fire cement. Fibreglass tape should be available from any boat repair yard. The stuff about 2cm wide would be adequate to act as a base for the fire cement. It wouldn't need to be a thick layer - the tape is about 1mm thick and a thin layer of fire cement is all that would be needed. The original layer of insulation was very thin and would not have been hugely effective.

It appears to be that. Contrary to some opinion Chrysotile is pretty harmless until you are exposed to large amounts of it over a long period. If you want to clean the old insulation off soak it in water and take the whole assembly outside and scrape it off. You can replace it with glass wool held in place with glass tape and a thin wire wrapping to hold it all in place.
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2003 14:49:05 +0100, HV

I wouldn't expect the coating to be difficult to remove, it looks as if its moulded on rather than relying upon adhesion. If it was mine I'd be perfectly happy to scrape the stuff off outside as chrysotile is pretty much harmless unless you are exposed to a lot of it for a long time. You may wish to do differently - there are lots of references to the material on the web to allow you to make your own mind up.

Wetting it just keeps the dust down (airborne particles are the only risk from asbestos). I wouldn't expect the cement to be softened but from the flaking already evident I'd guess it would all come off reasonably easily. Disposal (in the UK at least) if you wanted to be absolutely correct would simply mean putting the residue into a stout plastic bag and dropping it off at the local approved site. Seeing as thousands of tons of the stuff have gone into landfill sites and tons more continue to do so because people don't realise they are throwing asbestos cement things away I wouldn't feel terribly guilty about a bag containing a 200g of the stuff going into the domestic bin.
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