3 Tips for Dealing with Asbestos

Successful asbestos testing relies on three key things: proper sample collection, accredited lab testing, and appropriate removal and disposal. Without these three things, you could be contaminating your home during a remodel. Find out how to achieve a successful asbestos test by reading on or by contacting us direct.

If the expense of asbestos testing is a concern, realize that quality and accurate results are necessary to protect you and your loved ones from exposure during a remodel. It is impossible to see these fibers with the human eye, so there is no way to know whether or not your home has asbestos in it without the testing. Breathing in the fibers can lead to lung cancer.

Proper Sample Collection

Properly collecting the sample is critical to the success of an asbestos test. If you or the professional collection team only collects a small portion of the surface, then asbestos testing could come back negative, when in fact asbestos is hiding deeper in the material in question.

Proper sample collection procedure is as follows:

  • Close all other areas of the home.
  • Do not allow anyone other than the person collecting the sample to be in the home at the time of sample collection.
  • To minimize potential for spread of fibers, turn off all heating and cooling systems.
  • Wear gloves and other protective gear to minimize potential for breathing in asbestos fibers.
  • Protect the floor of the room with plastic material.
  • After sample collection, properly dispose of plastic material.
  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner for trashcan to store any mess left over from simple collection.
  • Store the sample in an airtight container properly labeled with the invocation sample.
  • Wash hands after sample is collected and the area is cleaned up.

A professional asbestos testing team will follow this procedure to protect himself or herself and you as a consumer. They will also have access to specialized tools to help them get the job done quickly and efficiently without compromising safety.

Accredited Lab Testing

Using a lab accredited through the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) provided through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will provide the safest and most accurate results. Any lab offering asbestos testing without this accreditation may not have the necessary equipment and expertise to provide a fully accurate test.

If you choose to do an at home test that allows you to collect the sample on your own and send it in to a lab for testing, then you should make sure the lab the sample is going to is accredited though this agency. If not, you cannot trust the results to be accurate.

You may be able to collect your own sample and send it to a lab of your choice, but be sure to contact them first, so you can follow the appropriate procedure as directed by the facility.

Appropriate Removal and Disposal

This step is only required should you receive a positive asbestos test result, and need to remodel the affected area in a manner that will disturb the asbestos. If you receive a negative test result, or you can proceed with the project without disturbing the asbestos material, then you do not need to worry about the appropriate removal and disposal of the affected items.

Depending on the extent of the issue, a professional asbestos abatement team may be required to remove and dispose the asbestos in your home or office. If you have questions or concerns about how to handle your project and testing, then contact your local Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office to ensure you are in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations.

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