Asbestos air test
Once sold as a “magic mineral”, asbestos is now an infamous public health threat. Asbestos is a natural mineral substance that can be extracted to obtain a fluffy consistency. Asbestos fibers are soft and flexible while resisting heat, electricity and chemical corrosion. Pure asbestos is an effective insulator, and it can also be mixed with fabrics, paper, cement, plastic and other materials to reinforce them.
These qualities have already made asbestos very profitable for businesses, but unfortunately they also make it highly toxic.
Asbestos can be considered a guest that has long since been welcome. Heat-resistant mineral fiber has long been used as a building and insulating material. However, its production has declined dramatically in recent decades when it has been proven that inhaling its fibers can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma and long-term lung scarring.
Most modern homes and offices now use alternative materials, but older buildings may contain asbestos. Even in this case, the fibers are only suspended in the air when they are disturbed. The most practical solution is simply not to touch asbestos. This is not always an option, however. An aging home may need repairs in its asbestos-attic, for example, or squirrels may have bailed out fibers while looking for a place to spend the winter.
Given the risks involved, decontaminating asbestos by yourself is rarely a good idea. Even taking your own samples for testing is not recommended. If you suspect a material contains asbestos, look for signs of damage without touching it, then contact a professional inspector for more information.
Asbestos air test: Air monitoring for asbestos
Once materials containing asbestos have been removed from your home, this does not necessarily mean that the risks associated with inhaling asbestos fibers have been completely eliminated. If you have this hazardous material removed from your home, appropriate safety measures must be put in place to minimize the risk of dispersion of the asbestos fibers in the air, it is always recommended to have a final asbestos air test.
Atmospheric asbestos monitoring refers to a group of tests that are carried out to assess the breathable fibers and the effectiveness of the control measures for the elimination of asbestos implemented. These tests are mandatory in order to properly dispose of materials containing friable asbestos. These materials are those which contain more than 1% of asbestos by weight and which can be pulverized, crumbled or reduced to powder under the pressure of a hand. Non-friable asbestos, on the other hand, refers to materials containing asbestos that cannot be sprayed, crumbled or reduced to powder by the pressure of an ordinary hand.
Air monitoring should be done before, during and after removal of the asbestos. Although air monitoring is not mandatory to remove non-friable materials containing asbestos, it is nevertheless advisable to perform these tests to ensure the safety of your loved ones and to assess the quality of the house air.
There are different ways to monitor the air, including exposure monitoring, background monitoring, and final monitoring. For exposure monitoring, regular samples are taken from the breathing zone and compared to the national exposure standard. The purpose of this test is to assess the risk of exposure to respirable asbestos fibers.
Control monitoring is carried out to assess the effectiveness of the control measures applied while materials containing asbestos are removed from the home. This monitoring involves the use of air monitors placed in a fixed location. Background monitoring is performed before removal of asbestos-containing materials and serves as a benchmark for air quality.
Finally, the final pollution control monitoring takes place after the removal of asbestos-containing materials from a building or house. If the test results indicate that the level of airborne fibers is less than 0.01 fibers / ml, the area is considered safe for the occupants. Otherwise, if the level of suspended fibers exceeds the safety level, the area must be restricted.