Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Boiler insulation materials

Fitting insulation materials to boilers

This guidance is relevant if your business manufactures boilers.

You must handle boiler insulating materials carefully, including:

  • dry refractory, which you mix with water to produce a slurry
  • styrofoam
  • polystyrene
  • fibreglass.

What you must do

Comply with your permit, licence or exemption

If you have a permit, licence or exemption you must comply with its conditions. If you do not comply with conditions you can be fined or even sent to prison.

Prevent nuisance

You must not cause a nuisance to your neighbours from:

  • dust, eg if you use boiler refractory
  • odour, eg if you use styrene foams.

You should check whether your business is near sites that air pollution would particularly affect, such as hospitals, schools and residential areas.

If your processes create levels of dust, grit, fumes or smoke that could cause a nuisance or harm the health of the surrounding community, your local council can issue an abatement notice that:

  • requires you to reduce the nuisance
  • bans or restricts the nuisance
  • requires you to carry out work or take other steps to reduce or stop the nuisance.

Anyone who is affected by the nuisance, such as your neighbours, can apply to the court in Northern Ireland or sheriff in Scotland to issue you with an abatement notice.

You can be fined if you do not comply with an abatement notice, and the local council can take steps to stop the nuisance itself and charge you for its costs.

Noise, odour and other nuisances

Comply with your waste responsibilities

You must comply with your waste responsibilities when you deal with waste from your boiler insulation materials.

If you produce waste that contains refractory ceramic fibre or asbestos you will need to treat it as hazardous/special waste.

Special controls apply to asbestos waste. For more information, see our guidance on asbestos.

Good practice

Be a good operator

Minimise the volume of refractory materials you handle. This will reduce the amount of dust you create at your site.

Use styrene foams in a well ventilated area.

Mix your refractory batches carefully to avoid using too much or too little water. If you use excessive amounts of water you will cause run-out over extended periods while the refractory dries.

Only mix the amount of refractory that is required to fill the boilers you manufacture.

Store your materials safely

Store your refractory materials away from draughts.

Reseal any open bags of refractory materials carefully.

Manage your waste

Dispose of waste refractory separately from other wastes because it is heavy and dense.

Employ a licensed contractor if you are not qualified to remove asbestos. For further information, see our guidance on asbestos.

SEE ALSO: Asbestos, Nuisances,

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Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms