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Asbestos testing; your choices

Date Added: November 29, 2011 03:11:44 PM
Author: saber2
Category: Asbestos Testing

Asbestos is used in both commercial and residential buildings. The problem is that it can cause many health problems after prolonged exposure. This is why asbestos testing is important. You can either test for this material by yourself or hire an asbestos testing company to handle testing. In both cases, special chemicals are used because asbestos consists mainly of invisible fibers and particles.

If you want to do it yourself, e.g. testing for asbestos in your kitchen, you could use a do-it-yourself testing kit. It is very easy to get a good asbestos testing kit in stores and online shops. Some of these kits can detect asbestos particles up to 1% content by weight. Some people use these kits to determine the level of asbestos in their buildings without having to concern third parties. Others follow the instructions contained therein to collect usable samples and send them to asbestos testing labs. These labs analyze the samples and send the results back to their clients after a few days.

Sometimes, handling the testing yourself may not be practical. In this case, you should bring in a third party, namely an asbestos testing company. The beauty of using these testing firms is that you can be sure all the work will be professionally done, the results will be accurate and no one will get hurt in the process.

These third party companies also offer a wide range of services and tests depending on the client’s needs. Some of them include:

1.     Bulk sample analysis

This is where an analyst prepares a sample thought to contain asbestos and views it using polarized light. The analyst views the sample under a microscope to determine what kind of asbestos is present. This is a form of asbestos testing allowed in Australian law.


2.     Soil analysis

Asbestos companies look for brown, white, blue, brown and grey asbestos using this type of analysis. Analysts take a little soil sample, add a few chemicals to separate the asbestos fibers and view it under a microscope and polarized light. They then use morphological identification, extinction angle and other skill sets to determine the amount and type of asbestos in the sample.


3.     X ray diffraction asbestos testing

This is an asbestos testing service where analysts are able to detect trace amounts of asbestos in a given sample. An analyst will grind the sample into a powder, compress it and use special instruments to determine the crystal structure and particle size. This will then allow for identification of amount of asbestos in the sample.

 4.     Asbestos air testing

Asbestos testing companies can also easily determine the amount of asbestos in the air. In this case, they will use special pumps to get a sample of the air in said building. This air then passes through a membrane that prepares it for viewing under a microscope. It is a very accurate way of testing for asbestos in any air sample. The results will show if the asbestos levels are high enough to cause any harm.

There are many other services offered by asbestos testing companies. All these services and testing methods are approved under Australian law meaning that you can be sure that you won’t suffer any adverse effects. Other services include filter analysis, water analysis, inhalable dust analysis, AF and FA analysis, electron microscopy analysis etc.

Finally, it should be added that only an experienced person should do asbestos testing by themselves. All other people are advised to hire asbestos testing companies.