How To Take Asbestos Samples [Infographic]

A Step By Step Guide To Taking Samples

When taking asbestos samples you should always ensure the safety of yourself and those around you. Airborne asbestos fibres pose a serious health risk so you should always take extreme care when retrieving samples.

Dangers

Serious diseases associated with asbestos include lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Due to the nature of the diseases, sometimes they can lay dormant for years, making their detection harder for medical professionals.

How can I safely remove the asbestos?

Legally you can remove asbestos yourself if it is non-friable asbestos and not over 10 m2. There is a 2 hour time limit to remove the asbestos within 7 days of notification. So although you can remove it, we strongly advise not to. If you are thinking of removing asbestos contact Pro Asbestos Removal Melbourne to organise a free consultation and quote over the phone. Don’t risk the health and safety of your family.

How To Identify asbestos

Asbestos is hard to identify by the human eye. Although a visual identification can sometimes be enough for some professionals, testing in a lab is always the best option.

Asbestos Safety Precautions

  • Follow the guidelines provided by Environment Protection Authority in your state in order to correctly dispose of asbestos waste. The waste should be disposed only in areas designated for such waste. Asbestos waste should not be disposed in the usual garbage dump because the chance of spreading it to other areas is high. There is also a risk exposure to others.
  • Have the packages with asbestos waste clearly labelled. The packages should be made of very thick, sealed polythene bags.
  • While handling asbestos, ensure that it is wet to reduce chances of inhaling loose particles.
  • Always put on a respirator to ensure that you don’t inhale the fibres.
  • Ensure that the area is cleaned up after you have finished collecting samples. This ensures that no fibres has been left behind.
  • Most importantly, consider hiring a licensed asbestos removal contactor to do the work for you. This will ensure that the work is done properly, according to the Local Government Regulations.

How To Take Asbestos Samples – Infographic

How To Take Asbestos Samples

 

Step by Step Guide

Step 1. Preparation

  • Determine the health risk factor to people including the one taking the sample, taking into consideration the material`s location its nature and the condition.
  • Shut down HVAC systems to limit any released asbestos fibres to spread.
  • If collecting sample inside the room, turn off fans.
  • Ensure you have all equipment required for sampling. This may include: pliers, disposable coveralls, resealable plastic bags, plastic drop sheet, waterproof sealant, water spray bottle, PVA glue, respirators and rubber gloves.

Step 2. Taking the sample

  • Make sure to wear your Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Ensure you have on respiratory protective equipment (RPE)
  • Spread down the plastic drop sheet to collect loose material that falls off during sampling
  • Before taking sample you should wet the area around the sample location. Use a spray bottle mixed with water and PVA glue. You can also mix the water with detergent.
  • Carefully cut a small piece of the material. The size of a coffee bean up to a 20 cent piece is sufficient.
  • Take a sample from a corner edge or along the existing crack or hole.
  • Place the sample into the resealable (zip-lock) plastic bag. Preferably double bagged.
  • Label the bag with the time, date and sample location.
  • Patch the area you have collected sample with a small piece of duct tape to stop release of asbestos fibres .
  • You can also spray the area again with the water solution.

Step 3. Cleaning up

  • Send the samples to your local Government authorised testing laboratory.
  • Using waterproof sealant, seal the sampled edges. A spray bottle with water and PVA glue also works.
  • Carefully decontaminate work areas and tools.
  • Ensure you follow a personal decontamination process. Dispose of your protective gear into a plastic rubbish bag labelled asbestos waste.
  • Clean yourself thoroughly.

Sample Testing Prices

The price for sample testing range between laboratories. The cheapest testing comes in at around $25 whereas the most expensive can be $200 or more per sample.

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Resources – asbestos.vic.gov.au