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Procedure for carrying out an asbestos testing

Who can test for asbestos?

Testing for asbestos is an activity that should be inspected by a qualified asbestos consultant who identifies asbestos containing materials within your home.  Naked eyes cannot identify asbestos; therefore, determining the presence of asbestos samples should be collected and sent to the laboratory for assessment. Handling samples of asbestos requires applying appropriate precautions, and it is not advisable to carry the test yourself.

When should you call for asbestos testing?

Asbestos testing is under the following conditions:

When you are planning for a demolition project – If an owner is sure or suspects cases of materials containing asbestos in a building he/she wants to demolish, it is advisable to call for asbestos testing. There will be a disturbance and damaging of materials containing asbestos during demolition, resulting in the release of asbestos fibers into the air. These materials are not safe when inhaled by workers or people and can cause diseases related to asbestos.

When you receive complaints from occupants, a follow–up should occur if an employee, a tenant, or any other person within the building complains of asbestos. Most of these occupants may have a previous encounter with asbestos or may have an idea of what asbestos materials are likely to cause.  It would be best to ignore such scenarios, thus a dire need for asbestos testing.

If planning to renovate a building – It is advised not to ignore asbestos testing even if the buildings came into existence after the ban on asbestos. By doing this, you ensure the safety of those living and working within the premises.

Conduct a regular asbestos test for friable appliances – Older buildings may contain worn-out appliances like pipes, water heaters, etc. The condition can cause a release of asbestos fibers in the air, which may be inhaled by those residing within the buildings.

Steps followed in asbestos testing.

Do not disturb the area where testing will be taking place. Cleaning items also should be avoided, and you should observe the shutting of all doors and windows to ensure still air in the room.

Wear disposable protective gear covering head to toe and appropriate footwear to avoid your body coming into contact with asbestos fibers.

Cover the work area using plastic sheeting and ensure all surfaces are damp with water. By doing this, you enhance the settling of disturbed dirt quickly.

 Isolate the material sample and ensure you dampen it with water. The model should weigh 5grams to 100 grams and should not be touched.

Transfer the sample in a plastic bag that has a zip-lock using protected pliers. Ensure you prevent microscopic fibers from sticking to the pliers’ surface by using a wet wipe in its mouth.

Ensure the sample is labeled and sealed tightly in another plastic bag with a ziplock, and remember to dampen it. Labeling should contain important information in small letters showing what the sample has, when and where it took place.

Vacuum the working area thoroughly and dispose of the vacuum’s content carefully.

Clean the area with a dampened cloth and dispose of it, and using a paintbrush, paint that became loose after extracting your sample.

Remove and dispose of your protective gear and dispose of it carefully,

Send the sample to a laboratory that is EPA – certified.

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