Asbestos Inspection and Testing
Asbestos containing materials (ACM), are incredibly dangerous and hazardous if treated in the wrong way. If you think you might have ACm somewhere in your home, you need to follow a safe process to identify the materials.
The first stage you go through should be the identification of the type of ACM that you are dealing with, making testing as crucial as getting rid process. The first part of identification is collecting samples, which can be done as a DIY project, as long as you take safety precautions. Herein are the safety precautions to have in mind.
The safety precautions to take while dealing with sample collecting include:
1. Use a P2 disposable mask throughout. This mask will protect you against inhaling toxic dust. You can purchase one from your local hardware store.
2. Always wet the substance to negate the generation of dust.
3. Collect sample sizes of between 5 to 100 grams with hand tools. For instance, you can use pliers. However, ensure that the inside teeth of the pliers are protected.
4. Store the sample in a click lock plastic bag. The wipes that you have used should be stored in a different bag or the same one bag.
5. Place the clip lock bag(s) with the sample and wipes in another clip lock bag.
6. Paint over the areas you have sourced the sample.
You should make an effort of delivering the sample, to the labs instead of sending someone else or using courier services.
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Asbestos Roofing – Roof inspection and disposal services
Fence Inspection and Removal – Safe Fencing replacement
Safety Checklist – 20 point safety checklist
Considerations To Make While Choosing A Lab
The quality of the lab you choose is inextricably linked to the quality of test you get. For a high-quality lab test, you should choose a lab that is certified by the National Association of Testing Authorities. While at it, you should make certain that they are accredited to offer fibre identification services.
Getting this accreditation is from NATA is easier said than done. NATA is strict and rigorously controls the quality of services offered by the NATA accredited lab. Choosing a NATA accredited lab should give you confidence that your sample is in good hands, and the test will be conducted to conform with the set high standards.
With regards to the price of the test, you should note that the lowest rates are not always the cheapest rates. Some of the labs advertise lower rates to draw in clients but add hidden charges to the base price. In the end, they may cost you more.
The extra charges can be due to:
– Administration fees
– Surcharges for samples that are over the base size limit
– Surcharges for fast turnarounds
– Reporting charges and among others.
A DIY Testing Kit
With regards to DIY testing, there are no genuine DIY testing kits, since part of the testing is conducted by a microscope. The DIY testing kits are more of collection kits. There is no replacement for lab tests.
While many people usually seek a quick identification over the phone, it is not possible due to the plethora of different types of ACM . These include:
- crocidolite, what is known as blue asbestos,
- amosite, the brown asbestos
- chrysotile, also known as white asbestos.
Identification is also difficult without testing because, in the real world, asbestos is used in a mixture form and not in pure form. For this reason, An ACM label is usually used to designate materials with asbestos.
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Below is a video about the special microscope that is used in testing laboratories: